Shropshire Star

Telford dance academy getting a facelift and lower bills after council grants

A dance and performance academy is to get a facelift and lower energy bills thanks to several grants from the local council.

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Back row, from left; Poppy Allen, Kerry Perks-Sismanidis and Elena Sismanidis. Front front row, from left; Clarissa Settembrini, Rosie Allen and Gessica Settembrini outside the Telford Academy of Performing Arts.

Telford Academy of Performing Arts, which spans two units along Oxford Street in Oakengates, has received a grant to improve the outside appearance of its studio.

It has also been given funding to reduce costs and become more eco-friendly during the energy crisis.

The grants are part of the Telford & Wrekin Council's Pride in Our High Street programme which supports businesses in towns across the borough.

Owner of the arts centre, Kerry Perks-Sismanidis, applied for the facade grant to replace tiling at the front of the units which was chipped and in poor repair.

She has also used the grant to repaint the academy’s entrance area and install new window vinyls to make it more appealing to clients and passers-by.

In addition, Kerry applied for an eco-insulation grant which is funding the insulation of internal walls and ceilings and bringing the rear dance studio into use - creating extra space for her weekly sessions.

A second eco-equipment grant will also support Kerry’s plans for the installation of new LED lighting to reduce energy costs in the dance studio.

She said: “The ceiling insulation is now complete, while the other insulation work is ongoing, so it will make a big difference to our energy costs going forward.

“This work isn’t just about helping me and my business to keep costs down – it’s also helping my clients and families that use the facilities because I want to keep the service as affordable as possible for them without having to increase my prices.

“I’m really pleased with the external work which has been completed as well and lots of people have been very positive and said what a huge difference it has made.

“I’m very grateful for this funding which is giving the academy an uplift both inside and outside.”

Katherine Kynaston, Telford & Wrekin Council’s director for housing, employment and infrastructure, added: “Telford Academy of Performing Arts occupies a large space covering two units in Oakengates.

“We’re pleased to support Kerry with this funding which is helping her reduce energy costs in what is a big space to heat and light up and also improve the overall appearance of the academy.

“This business is in a prime location in Oakengates and attracts business not only from the town itself but from customers all over Telford.

“As well as generating more footfall for the high street, the support for the academy is helping to improve the look and feel of Oakengates generally and increase the town’s appeal to visitors.”

Telford & Wrekin Council’s eco grant of up to £500 supports energy saving and environmentally-friendly initiatives and encourages high street businesses to adopt a greener approach, while the facade grant of up to £2,000 can be used to replace fascia signboards, hanging signs and shop frontage painting.

You can find out more about support for high street businesses and the Pride in Our High Street programme at

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