VOLUNTEERS heave-ho’ed heavy boxes into a van to help the Shoebox Theatre complete its big move to a new home.

There was plenty of hustling and bustling in Theatre Square as the non-profit theatre company emptied out and waved goodbye to its familiar old site, then moved all the colourful costumes and expensive equipment to the other side of the town centre.

After several trips back and forth, the difficult task of relocating to the historic Milton Road Health Hydro was complete.

Hannah Marquez, from the Shoebox, said: “We'll always be thankful for what this space offered, it helped us start up three years ago and since then, we've gone from strength to strength. Now we're ready to move on to the next chapter.

"We are so excited to be moving into such a historic landmark of Swindon, it's really special, and the extra space allows us to grow what we do while keeping the theatre space the same.

The new site will house an office, dressing rooms, a studio theatre and a box office in the space which originally housed a Victorian laundry.

There will be extra space for classes, including a new Youth Theatre group next Saturday and a new theatre company for young people up to the age of 18.

Chris Gibbs, Anj Saunders and Katie Sullivan helped load up the moving van.

Chris said: “I've been going to classes here for the last two years, I felt lucky to find it nrvsidr it's taught me theatre techniques and skills that I can apply to all areas of my life.

"I was brought together with a team of other classmates and we became friends very quickly."

Anj said: "Theatre friends are friends forever, it's been so fun. The Hydro is a lovely, quirky building that lends itself to theatre and I'm looking forward to classes there."

Katie said: "We'll be sad to leave Theatre Square but it's nice to move on to a new venue.

"It's great to have something like the Shoebox in Swindon, my confidence has grown so much since I started coming to classes here."

Hannah added: "We'll continue our masterclasses - people come from all over the county to learn from these professionals - and we've got Arts Council funding for our next project, which starts in February."