A THEATRE in the heart of Brentwood has been named the second best in the East of England.

Brentwood Theatre finished in the runners-up spot of Netmums Local Theatres Awards for the eastern region.

The Shenfield Road venue held off some larger stages in the competition and was only beaten by the Watersmeet Theatre in Ricksmanworth, Hertfordshire.

To celebrate, a bottle of champagne and a certificate were handed over to theatre staff to comemmorate the award.

Mark Reed, the venue’s administrator, said being recognised in this way was a fantastic feeling and makes their efforts more than worthwhile.

Mr Reed said: “'Brentwood Theatre is a community theatre, relying very much on local support from businesses and public alike.

“Netmums has always gone the extra mile to help us in that, doing all they can to promote those shows which will interest the family.

“To have then received this award is so kind, as it has come from grass roots which means so much to us.”

Judges from the online parenting website said they were pleased to be able to give the theatre praise it truly deserved.

Sam Diss, the Essex editor for the site, said: “The awards were set up to honour the rapid expansion in children’s theatre, which is seeing youngsters enjoy on stage versions of their favourite TV shows alongside children’s classics.

“We feel that this award is extra special as it is a 'mum's choice' award and acknowledges what a great job Brentwood Theatre does.”