Festival of Thrift Steams Ahead with Regional & National Support

A MIX of creative businesses, organisations and funding bodies have jumped on board for this year’s national celebration of sustainable living in a unified bid to support this highly acclaimed unique Festival, grown in the North East.

The Festival is expected to attract 50,000 people to its founding host site at Lingfield Point in Darlington this month, thanks to the support of 13 funders and partners.

The nationally-recognised Festival was recently awarded the 2015 Arts and Culture Observer Ethical Award and will this year be supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and hosted and supported by Lingfield Point, Darlington Borough Council and Creative Darlington.

Major partners include Darlington Building Society, County Durham Community Foundation, Thirteen Group, SwapBuy and Teesside University as well as in kind support from Lexus Teesside, Northumbrian Water, Tracy Kidd Photography, DFDS Seaways, BBC Tees and OPR.

Festival director, Stella Hall said: “We’re thrilled to have such a diverse range of supportive funders and partners supporting Festival of Thrift 2015. Each year we work hard to build partnerships with organisations that are committed to a sustainable ethos to really complement the spirit of the Festival of Thrift.

“With the backing of our supporters, this year’s Festival is set to be bursting at the seams with a wonderful mix of thrifty entertainment and artists. We are anticipating 50,000 visitors will travel from all corners of the country and even from overseas to Darlington over the course of weekend, which will offer a real boost to the local economy.”

This year’s festivities will start on Friday 25 September 2015 in Darlington Town Centre with the rebuilding of Darlington Rail Station’s iconic clock tower forming part of the town’s celebrations to mark the 190th anniversary of the world’s first passenger steam train that travelled between Stockton and Darlington in 1825. The Festival of Thrift will then open its gates at the unique business park, Lingfield Point, on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September 2015 for a weekend filled with free frugal fun.

Amongst Festival of Thrift’s programme will be nationally known scrimpers, leading and emerging artists, musicians, special installations, demonstrations, debates, workshops and stalls offering upcycled, recycled, sustainable and of course thrifty goods and tasty foods, to help people live a happier, more sustainable way of living.

For more information on Festival of Thrift 2015 visit the website at www.festivalofthrift.co.uk and register for updates.

Funders and partners’ quotes:

  • Jane Tarr, Director North, Arts Council England, said: “‘In just its third year, Festival of Thrift is already a real success story for Darlington, attracting huge numbers of visitors and gaining national acclaim. I’m delighted that we are able to support it through our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts programme and it’s great that Darlington businesses and supporters are getting behind it too as that will really help to make it sustainable. I’m looking forward to seeing how the how the programme for this year develops.”
  • Sara Williams, head of marketing for Lingfield Point, said: “It’s great that we continue to host this event as it serves as a fantastic platform to showcase our commitment to sustainability and culture. “As the original base of Festival of Thrift we believe Lingfield Point remains the perfect environment for such an on-trend, fun and fulfilling, community based event – and of course it gives us the chance to show-off our upcycled offices to a huge audience. We welcome the partnership with other sponsors from across the Tees Valley – and with excitement building we’re looking forward to this year’s event.”
  • Councillor Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council‘s Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “The national Festival of Thrift goes from strength to strength each year and we are delighted to be part of such an inspiring, thought provoking, dynamic and creative festival that combines having a great day out with hints, tips and suggestions on remaking, reusing and recycling. We’re thrilled that the theme of this year’s event is steam and that it coincides with the events to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the modern railway at Darlington’s Head of Steam Museum, giving an abundance of free, fun activities for families and people of all ages.”
  • Stephen Wiper, Creative Darlington Manager, said: “Creative Darlington aims to develop Darlington as a place where the arts matter and one of our ambitions is to support a great, inclusive arts offer. We’re delighted to have been involved in Festival of Thrift from the outset. “Festival of Thrift epitomises ingenious Darlington’s spirit with businesses, public sector and charitable organisations, committed and talented organisers, artists and volunteers working together successfully and having fun.”
  • Colin Fyfe, Darlington Building Society’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Darlington Building Society is proud to support Festival of Thrift. We are particularly pleased to be sharing the stage with nationally known savings gurus Ashleigh Money Saver and Coupon Detective Jennifer Drew, and to welcome people to ‘Darly’ – the art installation designed to celebrate the heritage of our town.”
  • Chris Smith, Director of Business Development at Thirteen, said: “At Thirteen, we thrive on being a catalyst for change, helping raise aspirations and providing opportunities for people to make a positive change to their lives – so we’re particularly pleased to be backing the Festival’s volunteering programme this year. “It celebrates the diversity of volunteering roles available across the North East and offers a really varied range of opportunities for local people that they would not often get the chance to experience.”
  • Chris Walker, Assistant Director, External Relations at  Teesside University, said: “As a valued partner of Festival of Thrift, Teesside University through The Forge, our business support centre in Darlington, and with mima our international gallery, is delighted to continue our support to this year’s exciting programme, and contribute to its growing success.”
  • Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive of  County Durham Community Foundation, said: “The Foundation makes grants on behalf of its donors to support hundreds of projects every year across County Durham and Darlington and is delighted to be supporting Festival of Thrift this year. This is not only a great family weekend but also spreads the important message of living lives in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Being recognised nationally by the Festival winning an Observer Ethical Award is an amazing accolade for the town and demonstrates its success. We look forward to working with the Festival and seeing the huge benefits it brings to those involved locally and to the region as a whole.”


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