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Unit 2 Pioneer Mill, Morton Street, Middleton
Middleton Popstars Academy was founded by Anne Marshall and Grace McKeown in 1998 to draw local young people away from vandalism. Anne is still the director but Grace has sadly passed on.
The Academy offers its students singing lessons, dance lessons as well as opportunities in makeup, drama, costume design and media. However, unlike most performing arts centres, Middleton Popstars Academy is a non for profit community group open to all, no matter of ability or disability. They strive to bring unity in the community by offering opportunities to all, encouraging integration between different age groups, ethnicities and social backgrounds.
They have their own building in Morton Street, Middleton, which, among it’s many other facilities, incorporates a small theatre.
Although the theatre has it’s own entrance when performances are given to the public there was no provision for male toilets. A staircase led from the entrance area to the first floor where toilets could be installed but this needed to be separated for purposes of security from the rest of the upper floor.
WBro Steve Graham, Charity Steward for the Oldham District, applied to the Community Fund for a grant of £1,250 for materials to add to those already on site. Labour was to be provided by the brethren to the equivalent value of £5000.
The staircase now has beautiful red carpet and handrails on both sides. At the top of the stairs is a landing area with a new timber and glass partition which separates the public access from the private office and storage area.
Modern fully tiled gents toilets complete this upgrade work which has been carried out to an extremely high standard by a team led by project director, WBro Eddie Baines.
Anne Marshall is delighted with the work that has been done and emphasises that the security and facilities that have been provided has meant that the theatre can be put to much wider use for the benefit of the community. Anne thanks the team who carried out the work and the ELMC Community Fund whose grant made this project possible.