Groups in Barnstaple and Westward Ho! receive £5,000 each from Performing Arts Fund.

Two North Devon theatre groups have received £5,000 each from the BBC performing Arts Fund.

The money, revenue from televised public phone votes, has been awarded to Atlantic Coast Theatre in Barnstaple, which will use it to train actors to puppeteer a cast of 35-plus marionettes in a production of Avenue Q.

The other local recipient is Many Directions Theatre Company, based in Barnstaple and Westward Ho! The company is made up of four groups of adults with learning difficulties.

It will use the grant to devise and perform an adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, which will also explore the treatment of people with learning disabilities in Europe during the Second World War.

The BBC Performing Arts Fund has awarded more than £430,000 to 19 Fellows and 58 community theatre organisations.