TV ACTOR and singer Freddie Bolt is opening a youth drama school in Keighley after a long search for a hometown venue.

Classes will be taught by industry professionals including performers from TV soaps, including Bradley Johnson who plays Vinny Dingle in Emmerdale. As well as teaching acting skills to youngsters aged four to 19, the academy will serve as a casting agency for the young performers.

Freddie himself began TV acting as an eight-year-old, his lessons at Bradford theatre school Stage 84 leading parts in children’s shows Bernard’s Watch and My Spy Family. Now in his mid-20s, he has spent the last three years playing Reece Murgatroyd in hit Channel 4 schools drama Ackley Bridge. He also performs in a Take That tribute band.

Freddie set up his first BOLT Academy in July this year in Manchester, where he is now based. He said: “We now have over 60 students who train weekly in acting. All classes are taught by industry professionals, including myself, Emmerdale and Coronation Street actors.

“This provides the students with invaluable experience if they are wanting to make their way into a fiercely competitive industry. Our agency offers students in Manchester so many casting opportunities – they have recently featured on CBBC’s The 4 O’Clock Club and we are on the brink of getting them on Coronation Street.”

Freddie said he was delighted that through his Haworth classes he would be able to offer Yorkshire children the same opportunities he had as a youngster.

He added: “The training is very professional, as it is run by actors actively working in the industry right now. If I can help some aspiring actors in Keighley carve their way into the industry that will make me extremely proud.”

The BOLT Academy will be based in Haworth Village Hall from January 28. Email or call 07889 975460 for information on free trial sessions.