Festival of Thrift returning to Kirkleatham in September

Festival of Thrift has confirmed that its large-scale celebration of sustainable living is going ahead on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September when its award-winning, joyful weekend of thrifty fun will be back at Kirkleatham near Redcar. 

The festival team is now finalising a programme with a water-based focus, ranging from a brand-new co-commission with Dance City of a performance set in the waterless future, to the much-anticipated return of the UK’s leading physical theatre company Highly Sprung, with their new show Castaway which explores how our canals and rivers are currently being polluted through overuse.  

Festival-goers can look forward to a full stage programme too, which will include a packed schedule of stalls, talks, exhibitions and hands-on activities.  

Festival of Thrift’s Creative Director, Stella Hall said: “In the first Year of the English Coast we wanted to draw attention to the importance of our streams, canals, rivers and seas and to the centrality of water in our lives.  

“We take it for granted, but not everyone in the world has access to a clean supply – why is it we are polluting what we have in abundance? How can we enjoy our water based leisure pursuits in a sustainable way? Without banging the drum too loudly we want audiences to ponder how we can responsibly build a shared future.” 

The announcement follows changes in government restrictions and confirmation of funding support from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, the Arts Council of England and Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority. 


Emma Whitenstall, Festival of Thrift’s Executive Director added: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this crucial support from our funders to be able to once again bring the festival to audiences old and new.   

“We now invite organisations with a strong sustainability ethos to partner with us on this high-profile event, to ensure the most fabulous weekend of celebration after what has been a really difficult year.”  

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Councillor Louise Westbury, with responsibility for Events, Culture and Climate Change, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming the nationally-renowned Festival of Thrift back to Kirkleatham. It is one of the most highly anticipated and well attended events in the borough and we’re very proud to support it.  

“Not only is Thrift a signature cultural festival for the borough, providing free access to a world class offer for our residents and driving tourism, it is also a key way to deliver against our climate change agenda and engage people in the issues and with the role they can play in reducing the impact on the environment in creative and thoughtful ways.  

“The Government’s changes to restrictions mean everyone can get back out and enjoy themselves with more of a semblance of normality. Have fun but stay safe by following Government advice.” 

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The Festival of Thrift is a much-loved event in Redcar’s cultural calendar, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to award it £50,000 from the Festival Recovery Fund so it can return safely this year. 

 “Not only is this festival giving people something to look forward to, and a welcome boost following an incredibly difficult 18 months, but it will get people back out across our region. That means more local people and tourists supporting our brilliant businesses, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, while enjoying what promises to be a great event.” 

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