A RECORD-breaking summer spectacular has created a £1.3m cash bonanza and tourist boom for South Tyneside, it was revealed today.
Figures just released show that South Tyneside Summer Festival 2013 was bigger and more popular than ever, creating major lucrative spin-offs for traders and businesses across the borough.
An extra 20,000 visitors than last year spent an average £12 each on everything from ice cream to fish and chips, and concert tickets to parking.
Music acts like South Tyneside’s very own Little Mix and Joe McElderry, Toploader, Rick Astley and Liberty X attracted tens of thousands of pop fans to concerts in the borough, with the number of visitors across the three-month festival totalling a record 101,900.
Coun John Anglin, a member of the 365 regeneration team for South Tyneside Council, said: “This summer’s festival was a tremendous success, with more people enjoying themselves than ever.
“I think South Shields seafront is now as good as anywhere in Britain.
“We are attracting more visitors than ever to South Tyneside, and also making it a great place for entertainment for local people.”
Visitor numbers were up 35 per cent during the summer festival, with this year’s Sound Waves 2013 pop special boosting numbers even further.
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “The summer festival has always been a popular event, but this year it was bigger and better than ever before, with an additional 20,000 visitors compared to 2012.
“This, combined with the popularity of the first Sound Waves concert, meant that South Tyneside enjoyed a spectacular summer, which helped boost the economy by around £1.3m overall.”
The entertainment on offer during this summer’s festival ranged from fun days and the final Tommy’s Parties to pop acts Rick Astley and Liberty X at Bents Park, South Shields, who each attracted crowds of around 15,000, while Toploader and The South drew 18,000.
Meanwhile, the separate Sound Waves concert at Bents Park over the August bank holiday weekend saw Little Mix and McFly co-headlining, with additional performances from local lad Joe McElderry, plus The Vamps and Luminites.
Sound Waves attracted about 6,000 pop fans from across the UK, boosting visitor numbers to the borough even further.
The annual parade through South Shields attracted 20,000 people, while a record number of young people attended Tommy’s Parties, which were the last before the retirement of popular children’s entertainer Tommy the Trumpeter.
Coun Kerr added: “We’re absolutely thrilled by what the South Tyneside Summer Festival and Sound Waves were able to achieve in 2013, and hope to see many familiar faces retruning next year.”