Darlington's Openart Studio secured with £65,000

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An art therapy project for people with mental health problems has been saved thanks to a grant of £65,000.

The Openart Studio in Darlington gives patients the chance to work with professional artists to help improve their mental wellbeing.

It was under threat of closure, but the funding from Durham Primary Care Trust means it can move into new premises when Darlington Arts Centre closes.

The project is run by the primary care trust and Darlington Council.

Darlington Arts Centre is due to shut in July.

A council spokesman said: "Unlike other schemes, people do not need to be referred by a medical professional to join Openart Studio - anyone aged over 18 who is interested in art and thinks they could benefit is welcome.

"The studio also welcomes carers, usually relatives or partners of people undergoing medical treatment, and runs special sessions for families and young people, as well as outreach sessions in the community."

Visiting artists offer a range of activities including drawing, painting, ceramics, textiles, photography and film.

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