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Spotlight on Summer Festival success

Residents can find out about the success of South Tyneside's programme of summer events at the next meeting of the Riverside Community Area Forum.

On Thursday 26 January forum members will receive a presentation outlining the success of the 2016 South Tyneside Summer Festival.

Over 140,000 visitors were attracted to the Borough thanks to the programme of free family events and live music making it the most successful festival in the event's 28 year history.

An estimated 18,000 people lined the streets in South Shields to view the Borough's Maritime Mayhem themed Summer Parade which celebrated the Borough's rich maritime history of seafaring and shipbuilding as well as the sights and sounds of South Tyneside's coastal community.

The Festival's Sunday Concerts collectively attracted 93,000 with big name acts Alexander Burke, the Proclaimers, Tony Hadley and UB40 performing live in Bents Park on South Shields seafront.

Councillor Michael Clare, Chairman of the Riverside Community Area Forum, said: "It is fantastic news that the South Tyneside Summer Festival has once again attracted thousands of tourists to the Borough.

"The festival is an extremely popular longstanding event which helps to put South Tyneside on the map. It also provides a generous boost to the local economy and helps to support thousands of jobs in the Borough. In 2016 visitors to the seafront festival spent an estimated £1.7 million with local businesses - a 15 per cent increase on last year.

"We are looking forward to this year's South Tyneside Summer Festival and to inviting music lovers and families from far and wide back to the Borough later this year."

Members will also receive an update about the South Shields 365 town centre masterplan and foreshore regeneration schemes.

The report will feature the scheme's progress so far, including the completion of The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, and the Market Place as well as the development of the Transport Interchange.

A new strategy to tackle flooding and coastal erosion over the next five years will also be highlighted within the meeting.

People across the Borough are being encouraged to give their views on the approach the Council intends to take with a programme of local actions to meet the needs of local people, the economy and the environment.

Councillor Michael Clare added: "Since opening in October 2016 The Word has attracted over 110,000 visitors with more attending the cultural venue in South Shields each day. The Word is the centre piece of phase one of our 365 master plan to revitalise the town centre and make South Shields a premier coastal destination, providing a better experience and quality of life for both residents and visitors.

"I would encourage residents to come along and find out more about the regeneration of South Shields as well as listen to the Council's proposed approach to tackle flooding and coastal erosion within the Borough."

Members of the press and public are welcome to attend the meeting, which takes place at 4pm, on Thursday 26 January, at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, Market Place, South Shields.

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