Sandhaven Beach on South Shields seafront will once again be flying the flag for the summer season after retaining a coveted national award.
The stunning tourist attraction has retained the Blue Flag status, as well as the Seaside Award from leading environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, acting as a guarantee that South Tyneside has one of the best beaches in the world.
Both the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards are the quality marks for beaches and mean that visitors can be sure that they boasts top notch facilities, are clean and safe and meet the highest environmental standards.
For many people going to the beach also means a dip in the sea. The awards acknowledge that Sandhaven has met the required European Union standards for water quality, with Blue Flag beaches subject to even tougher tests meeting the very highest international standards.
Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: "Sandhaven Beach is one of South Tyneside's best assets and helps us to attract thousands of visitors every year. We are thrilled it has received the Blue Flag and Seaside awards once again showing that it continues to be one of the best.
"With more families looking for value for money days out this summer, these awards help us with our efforts to promote South Shields as a traditional seaside resort with something for everyone. With another top class summer events programme set to include live music from legend Billy Ocean and chart-toppers 5ive, there's never been a better time to enjoy a visit to our wonderful seafront."
Sandhaven is one of only 31 beaches nationally to pick up both the Blue Flag and Seaside awards.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "This is wonderful news for Sandhaven, and for South Tyneside.
"These awards are a mark of our commitment to keeping our beaches clean and safe for everyone to enjoy and making sure visitors and residents have access to excellent facilities.
"The awards are not given lightly. They are difficult to achieve and are a ringing endorsement of the quality experience and superb facilities that visitors to Sandhaven can enjoy. Well done to our staff and partners for all their hard work and commitment to maintaining such high standards."
Sandhaven is listed among 60 beaches nationally to receive the Blue Flag and 111 to secure the Seaside Award.
Keep Britain Tidy's Coastal Award Manager, Paul Todd said: "It is great to be able to celebrate another fantastic year for the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards.
"As an environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy is committed to improving the quality of the places where people live, work and holiday and these winners have proved their commitment to providing the best possible beaches for locals and visitors alike.
"The public can be sure if they visit a Blue Flag or Seaside Award winning beach, that they are visiting one of the best beaches in the world."
In recent years, Sandhaven has seen the completion of a restoration project to help build up and stabilise sand levels to help enhance and protect the sand dunes for the future. This involved installing fencing to trap windblown sand as well as planting a variety of new dune grasses.
South Tyneside also recently secured £1.5m from the Coastal Communities Fund to make Sandhaven's north promenade even more attractive and provide better links with Littlehaven.
The Blue Flag and Seaside Award announcement for Sandhaven comes weeks after the new Littlehaven Promenade and Seawall project won two prestigious industry commendations from the Constructing Excellence in the North East Awards 2015 and the Institution of Civic Engineers North East Robert Stephenson Awards.
For further information about Sandhaven Beach go to www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk