The Polka Theatre has just moved a step closer towards carrying out a huge project next year.

The children's theatre group is hoping to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2019 with its first redevelopment since the charity first opened its doors back in 1979.

That goal has now been helped thanks to a £1.2 million award from the Greater London Authority.

Peter Glanville, artistic director and joint CEO of Polka couldn't have been more delighted when he found out.

"This award is a clear demonstration of the Mayor of London and the GLA’s commitment to supporting culture and community-led regeneration in Merton and a ringing endorsement of the value of Polka’s work with children and families," he said.

"Theatre and access to the arts nourishes and inspires children’s creative development.

"This investment celebrates the world class cultural provision Polka creates and shares with children and families in our local community.”

The development includes a new adventure theatre specially designed for young children up to age five, a new rehearsal and development studio and a creative learning studio designed with particular reference to children with sensory needs, as well as improved access facilities.

Merton Council’s cabinet member for community and culture, Nick Draper, said: “I am delighted to hear that Polka Theatre has received this investment award, which will go a long way to bring their 'Future Polka' plans to life.

"This gives a much needed boost to a vibrant arm of our community which promotes diversity and champion accessibility for artists and audiences in London.”

This funding award means Polka has less than £800K to raise to reach its total target.