£219m tourism bonanza for borough

BRINGING IN THE CROWDS ... Tommy the Trumpeter.
BRINGING IN THE CROWDS ... Tommy the Trumpeter.

TOURISM is worth more than £200m a year to South Tyneside’s economy, according to latest research.

As well as maintaining and creating more than 3,000 jobs in our borough, visitors helped generate £219m for the local economy during the past financial year.

Next week, councillors will look back at significant civic successes in recent months, and ahead to plans for the coming year.

Already, 2013 has seen the launch of South Shields 365 – an ambitious £100m masterplan to make the town a place worth visiting ‘every day of the year’.

Other notable events have included the opening of Jarrow Community Pool, the start of the Littlehaven Seawall project, demolition of Wouldhave House in the centre of South Shields, and the Great North Dog Walk.

And on Thursday, the full council will look ahead to attractions that aim to draw further visitors to the borough, with South Tyneside Summer Festival again at the forefront. Coun Alan Kerr, lead member for culture and leisure at South Tyneside Council, said: “Tourism is very important to the borough’s local economy.

“We have an international reputation for staging and delivering world class events that help to boost visitor numbers, year upon year.

“The events and tourist attractions bring finance into the borough.

“There are a wide range of events and attractions on offer all year round in South Tyneside, which allow people to have a wonderful time.”

July will see a series of free concerts in Bents Park, South Shields, featuring Liberty X, Toploader and Rick Astley.

And that will be followed in August by Soundwaves 2013, a paid- for concert in the park featuring local hero Joe McElderry, McFly and The Luminites.

This summer witnesses the final year of the annual Tommy the Trumpeter parties, which regularly attract more than 3,500 visitors to the amphitheatre on South Shields seafront.

And in the build-up to the Great North Run on Sunday, September 15, there will be health promotion events, a Tyne Tunnel international wheelchair race and a business dinner and awards.

Members of the full council are to meet in the committee suite at South Shields Town Hall from 3pm on Thursday.