AS STUDENTS at Hyde Clarendon College start the countdown to Christmas, MP Jonathan Reynolds joined local councillors to give their annual pantomime a £5000 boost.
In recent years students at the college, in Hyde, have put on a show for hundreds of local schoolchildren.
And now they have started planning for a week of performances of the festive favourite, Dick Whittington, in December.
To help with the costs, councillors in Hyde have raised funds from the district assembly, local businesses and other organisations to go towards the town’s Christmas costs.
And on Friday Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds and Hyde councillors Philip Fitzpatrick and Jim Fitzpatrick handed a cheque for £5000 over to the college.
Mr Reynolds said: “The pantomime at Hyde Clarendon has now become an annual highlight for primary schools across the town – with 1000 youngsters able to watch the show every year.
“Putting on a show like this is a tremendous amount of work and I am delighted that the college has taken on the challenge yet again.
“Having the support of the district assembly and so many local businesses just shows how good its reputation is – and I can’t wait to watch it myself in December.”
In addition to the pantomime, local councillors have also raised funds for the Christmas Lights Switch On, which will include an ice skating rink in the town centre and fireworks display.
Among those who have contributed to the town’s Christmas fund are the District Assembly, the Hyde Town Team, New Charter, McDonald’s, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lee Print.
“Pantomime is one of those traditions that make Christmas a magical time for children and I am pleased the town has been able to support it,” said Hyde Newton councillor Philip Fitzpatrick.
“In recent years I’ve been really keen to make sure as many children as possible are offered the chance to go to the pantomime – and every year it has been heart-warming to see their reactions.
“This year the people and businesses of Hyde are working harder than ever to make sure there is plenty of Christmas cheer – and I think this year will be better than ever.”