An arts campaigner is celebrating after winning a trophy at the Gazette’s WOW247 Awards.
Jonny Riggs was one of 16 deserved winners on a night of amazing highlights at the Best Western Roker Hotel.
The awards honoured the best in the South Tyneside and Wearside arts, culture, hospitality and leisure scene.
In a competition where every finalist deserved praise, Jonny got special recognition for campaigning to help under-privileged people to develop their talent in art in South Tyneside.
He has battled to promote the arts in the borough in a range of ways, including giving talks in school.
Muriel Harrison received a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to dance in Sunderland.
She started dancing after she was diagnosed with polio when she was five and began to learn on advice from her doctor.
Since then, she has gone on to teach dance to others for 55 years.
But Muriel and Jonny were only two of the stars on a night of many highlights.
Others included the two-day Summer Streets Music Festival in Southwick, Sunderland, which won the Event of the Year.
ARTventurers, which provides artistic fun for children, was the Children’s Activity of the Year while Guest House of the Year was The Clifton, South Shields.
Ramside Hall in Durham was the Hotel of the Year while Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis & Wellness Centre, in Sunderland was our top sports venue.
The Best Shopping Experience title went to Pretty Things, South Shields, while the Best Attraction title went to Arbeia Roman Fort in Jarrow.
The Cultural Spring project was the tops for Contribution to Culture while Gin & Bear It, Sunderland, was Cocktail Bar of the Year.
Tinker Smiths in South Shields was Town Centre Pub of the Year and the Welcome Tavern in Sunderland’s East End was the winner of the Local Pub of the Year crown.
Bistro/Cafe of the Year was Serendipity Tea and Trinkets, Sunderland and MIRACLE! An Opera of Two Halves won the Show of the Year title. The restaurant of the Year title went to the Italian Stove in South Shields. The awards are held in association with our weekly entertainments guide, Wow 24/7.
This year, the competition is backed by UK Asbestos Specialists (UKasl), The Marsden Grotto Private Beach and Downey’s Fish and Chip Restaurant in Roker and Seaham. Also on board are the Best Western Roker Hotel and the Quality Hotel
We will be carrying a supplement with reaction and interviews with all of our winners in next Wednesday’s Gazette.