South Shields arts venue is up for an award

HEADLINE MAKER ... the Customs House.
HEADLINE MAKER ... the Customs House.

A VENUE which brings joy to thousands of people a year has been nominated for an award.

The Customs House in South Shields was today praised for the way it nurtures creative new talent as well as providing shows and cinema screenings.

Its success has put it in the running for a What’s On Where award, which is a competition run by the Shields Gazette and its sister paper the Sunderland Echo.

Numerous nominations came in for the South Tyneside venue and praised the Customs House as “South Tyneside’s premier arts centre”.

It was described as “a fantastic venue for the community, bringing joy to many people through their shows, cinema screenings and events.”

Executive director Ray Spencer said: “We are quite a small organisation and it is really kind of whoever has nominated us to appreciate the work that we do.

“There are lots and lots of community groups which are competing in the arts. We are honoured to have been put forward.”

One nomination praised the Customs House for its youth theatre, which is open to all young people aged between 10 and 19 years old who have an interest in drama, devising and acting.

It also talked of the venue’s support for community and education projects.

* The Customs House joins a growing and impressive list of entries for this year’s What’s On Where awards.

We are off to a great start, but we want more nominations. so remember to put your favourites in the running.

The awards are held in association with our weekly entertainments guide, Wow 24/7, and aim to reward the elite in everything from restaurants to children’s venues, takeaways to parks and community areas, and hotels to the best shopping experience.

It’s only the second time we have held the awards and we want to build on the success of last year’s great inaugural competition.

We want you to nominate your favourites in each of the categories listed on this page. There is plenty of time to put forward your favourites as the deadline for entries is February 5, next year.

We will be revealing the winners on February 26 in a glittering finale at The Best Western Roker Hotel.

It’s really easy to nominate. Either fill in the form in the paper or click HERE to enter online.

go online and enter at the Sunderland Echo website at, or the Shields Gazette website at

Twitter: @shieldsgaz