THE Regal in Tenbury has won a Royal seal of approval.

It has received recognition of its achievements working with the community.

Hard-working volunteers at Tenbury’s Regal Theatre have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recognises outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

It is known as the MBE for voluntary groups.

The Regal plays an important role in the community and is a creative hub for local people, presenting a mixed programme of live shows, cinema, workshops and broadcasts from the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

Volunteers are the heart of the Regal and carry out roles covering box office, front of house, film projection, lighting and sound technicians, backstage support, chaperoning, sweets and merchandise sales and ushers. Without them, the Regal would not be able to offer such a diverse programme.

The Regal is one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

Built in the 1930s, the building is a rare example of a small-town cinema built in English towns between the first and second world wars.

It had a £700,000 refurbishment paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund nearly a decade ago.

Tenbury Town Council owns the Regal and is responsible for major repairs.

But its operation is in the hands of an independent trust who have a long lease and organise the programme of shows.

“The volunteers are the backbone and spirit of the Regal” says theatre manager Adey Ramsel.

“We are so proud of everyone who gives us their free time.

“This award is recognition of all the amazing work they do and what they have achieved to make us the success we are today.

The Regal will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire in early August.