Our History

The group was set up in March 1994 by Paul Thompson and was originally called “The EMS Footlights”. However, it later severed it’s links with English Martyrs School and became known as Footlights Theatre Productions (FTP). In the past we have produced small and large, simple and extravagant productions catering for all ages.

The group is managed by a Board of Directors, whom also serve as the production team, which meets monthly to discuss the running and plans of the group. The Board is named overleaf.

In the autumn of 1998, FTP set up a separate branch called the School’s Liaison Project. This involved the group working closely with schools and other educational establishments in order to teach topics through the medium of drama.

In January 1999, the Footlights expanded and moved into bigger premises at St. James Parish Hall. This is where the Footlight’s Youth Group was based until August 1999. The Youth Group was set up in order to provide a means of educating the youngsters in Hartlepool and its neighbouring villages in the subject area of theatre production. The group not only offered stage work, (I.e. dancing, singing and drama) but also offered the back stage aspects, namely, theatrical makeup, set design, sound detail and also lighting.

In August 1999, we then moved to The Footlight Studios in York Road.

In 2000, the group received a substantial sum of funding from the Department of Education and Skills (as it was at the time) to set up and run a theatrical based alternative education programme for children and young people who were struggling at school.  This programme for 3 years and achieved some amazing results with some young people with challenging behaviours and complex issues.

We soon became aware of the limitations and short comings on this property and once again moved in November 2000 to much larger 2-storey premises at Enterprise House.  This building was large, spacious, well located and service, but most importantly it was central heated! We enjoyed 6 years at that site.

Between 2006 and 2008, we then had an unsettling period of moving between a few different places; The Stranton Centre, West View Baptist Church and Belle Vue Sports Centre.

However in February 2009, we formed a partnership with Hartlepool Families First which involved a permanent base within their premises.  We are still based their today.

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