CONSTRUCTION is under way at a major community theatre development.

Moreton Hall held a groundbreaking ceremony for the £1.45 million Holroyd Community Theatre.

Laura Holden, daughter of founding Patrons Bill and Julie Holroyd, cut the turf on the new theatre.

She said: “Performing arts are at the very heart of Moreton Hall’s broad curriculum and we are thrilled to be supporting this ambitious project. We hope the theatre will greatly benefit the local community and enrich the education of the pupils at Moreton.”

The long-time vision of principal, Jonathan Forster, the Holroyd Community Theatre aims to provide a new and vibrant arts space for North Shropshire and the Welsh borders.

A school spokesman said: "Moreton Hall is proud of the part we play in the creative life of our local community, not least through drama initiatives such as Face2Face and our musical partnership with the North Shropshire Orchestra.

"In November, as part of Oswestry’s Wilfred Owen Festival, Moreton Hall will sponsor and host the award- winning Grist to the Mill Theatre Company with two performances of their show, The Unknown Soldier, for schools and the wider community.

"Although our current venue, the Musgrave Centre, has hosted an array of wonderful school shows, the Holroyd Community Theatre will provide a purpose built, state of the art performance space designed to accommodate everything from the razzle dazzle of musical theatre to the intimacy of a one man show and will host everything from visiting theatre professional theatre companies to a wealth of productions by local people."

More than £1.25 million of the £1.45 million total has already been reached, which includes the support of Mr and Mrs Holroyd.

With £200,000 to go, the spokesman added that families can play their part by sponsoring one of the theatre’s seats.

The Holroyd Community Theatre is set to be completed by next summer with the first productions to be held that autumn.