An exciting new experience is set to create a buzz for shoppers to South Shields this weekend with the traditional Market Place transformed into an open-air cinema.
The Stay, Shop and Play event will see seating laid out on a pop-up green space where families can pull up a deck chair and enjoy a movie on a large LED screen at the free outdoor cinema.
There will also be outdoor games for families to play, with traditional favourites including giant Jenga, Connect 4 and Snakes and Ladders. Youngsters can also enjoy children's rides for a small fee, while grown-ups get to browse and buy at South Shields Market.
The event is taking place this Saturday 11 September, from 9am until 4pm, in South Shields Market Place.
George Mansbridge, South Tyneside Council's Corporate Director for Regeneration and Environment, said: "We are incredibly excited to bring this new attraction to South Shields Town Centre for visitors to enjoy this weekend.
"As a first for the Market Place, it is set to create a real buzz, bringing some colour and vibrancy to the town centre and hopefully encouraging visitors to stay a little longer while going about their shopping.
"It's also a great way for people to enjoy some family fun together while supporting our town centre businesses and Market traders, with the opportunity to grab a coffee from one of the town's cafes, watch a family-friendly movie in the Market Place, get competitive over a giant board game and shop local. We hope everyone who comes along has a fantastic time."
The pilot event has been organised by South Tyneside Council working in partnership with local businesses and is being funded through the Government's Welcome Back Fund - an extension of the Reopening of the High Streets Safely Fund.
George added: "We are working really hard to welcome people back to our town and village centres and give businesses a boost after what has been an extremely difficult and challenging year due to the pandemic.
"Our local traders have been a lifeline for many during the height of the pandemic, providing food and other essential items, so it is important we support them on the road to recovery.
"Making our high streets more welcoming and attractive to visitors is also one of the ways we are delivering on our core priority of investing in our town centres, high streets, villages and hospitality."
As well as the Stay, Shop and Play event, the Council is holding the FEAST street food festival later this month (24-25 September), featuring a range of quality food and drink vendors and a small performance area for entertainment in the scenic surroundings of the traditional market square.
Other improvements include new eye-catching banners, flower baskets and planters adding a splash of colour across the town centre area.