Summer concerts gave South Tyneside’s economy a £1.4m boost

Fun at Bents Park, South Shields, at one of this year's summer concerts.
Fun at Bents Park, South Shields, at one of this year's summer concerts.

This year’s South Tyneside Summer Festival has boosted the borough’s economy by an estimated £1.4million, say council bosses.

That money was raised thanks to 115,000 people enjoying a whole season of free live entertainment.

We are absolutely delighted with the turn out

Coun Alan Kerr

And, with events continuing until the end of August, these figures are expected to rise even further.

The most well-attended aspect of the festival so far has been the Sunday Concert series in Bents Park, South Shields.

These four open-air performances – headlined by 5ive and Atomic Kitten, Billy Ocean, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Feeling, and North East Stars Joe McElderry, Collabro and Lola Saunders – attracted a combined 77,500 visitors during July, almost double the figure from three similar concerts in 2014. This alone has contributed an estimated £930,000 to the local economy, based on average visitor spend.

Councillor Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the turnout for the South Tyneside Festival 2015 and the positive impact it has had on the local economy.

“The success of this year’s event can be attributed to a number of factors, including the decision to add an additional free event to the Sunday Concert series and to give our Summer Parade a spectacular Alice in Wonderland theme.”

The South Tyneside Festival’s Summer Parade proved especially popular, with 25,000 spectators lining the streets of South Shields to mark 150 years since the publication of the book – a 25% rise on the previous year’s parade.