The Festival of Thrift scooped gold at the region’s annual tourism awards at a glittering awards ceremony celebrating the great and the good of the North East’s tourism industry this week.
The Festival of Thrift was up against 14 other hopeful entrants to be category winner for Tourism Event of the Year.
The Festival of Thrift is an annual event, now in it’s 3rd year, taking place at it’s founding host site, Lingfield Point in Darlington. The Festival is The UK’s National Celebration of Sustainable Living. Offering visitors the chance to learn new skills, share knowledge and enjoy a full weekend of frugal, family fun.
Bringing together national and international artists, scrimping gurus, leading experts and the local community to celebrate and learn how upcycling and recycling is the way forward for a sustainable future. The Festival was recognised earlier in the year winning the Observer Ethical Award for Arts and Culture, a national coup for a home grown Festival.
This year’s awards were designed and delivered by Newcastle Gateshead Initiative on behalf of the North East Tourism Alliance, the tourism body which brings together all aspects of the tourism industry across Country Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.
Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said “It’s fantastic to see so many entries this year. The quantity and quality of the applications not only demonstrates the variety of tourism businesses and attractions across the North East, offering visitors an unforgettable experience, it’s also a testament to our thriving visitor economy.
“Tourism businesses employ more than 55,000 people across the North East with an additional 730 jobs created over the last 12 months.
Stella Hall, Festival Director, commented “We were delighted just be shortlisted. With such a strong events programme throughout the North East, we knew it was going to be a tough competition. We are over the moon to win and just want to give thanks to our partners and sponsors and our host site Lingfield Point. We have such a dedicated team of colleagues across Darlington and further afield and each and every one plays their part to make the Festival of Thrift such a great event.
“This year we welcomed 45,000 visitors to the site, nearly double the attendance to the first Festival which took place back in 2013.
The Festival team is now looking to the long term and planning for 2016, which will take place 24 and 25 September, taking an active role with other partners in ensuring thrift and sustainability are a core part of the Tees Valley bid for UK Region of Culture 2025.
As a winner at the regional awards, the Festival of Thrift now has the chance to showcase the Festival, Darlington and the North East on the national stage at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2016.
Read all about it in the Northern Echo.