THE TRUSTEES behind Wales’ oldest theatre building have secured a £6,000 boost to enable it to expand its work.

The Monmouth Savoy Theatre Trust, which looks after the grade II-listed Savoy Theatre and cinema in Church Street, relies on volunteers to help its three paid members of staff.

The Trust was one of almost 400 projects nationwide to win funding in the NatWest initiative CommunityForce- 2011, which supports community projects across the UK.

The cash will enable the Trust to recognise its ambition of running an after-school film club for children. The initiative by education charity FILMCLUB and funded by the Welsh Government helps schools set up and run the club but the Trust must cover staff , heating and lighting costs.

It will also mean it can expand its work with youth drama workshops and develop its children’s festival as the Trust does not receive public funding.

Chris Ryde, chairman of Trustees, said: “This award, means a lot to us, especially because it was voted for by people in the community.” The 400-seat auditorium became the town’s first cinema in 1910 and is privately-owned by the MacTaggart family which leases the building to the Trust. In 2004 it underwent a major refurbishment and costs around £50,000 a year to run.