A much-loved theatre group has been saved from closure following an urgent appeal for funds.

The Dunmow Players faced closure after running out of money last month and asked the local community to help them survive.

They needed to raise £3000 by the end of January or they would no longer be able to function.

A crowdfunding page was set up in December and more than £4600 has been raised.

Chairman, Emily Robshaw said: "We are thrilled and overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity of everyone who helped save The Dunmow Players and we have been able to absolutely smash our fundraising target.

"We are so incredibly grateful to everyone who got involved, it really means so much to us all.

"This gives us the financial security to be able to continue to put on fantastic quality shows and entertain audiences young and old."

Since establishing almost a century ago in 1921, the group has helped hundreds of local people experience live theatre and performers of all ages to build their confidence.

One former member said: "The Dunmow Players were there for me during a really tough time.

"The friends I made there became my family and I don't know what I would have done without them."

Rehearsals are now underway for their next production in April of 'Big-The Musical' in Foakes Hall, in Dunmow.

Tickets are now on sale at thelittleboxoffice.com/dunmowplayers.