A series of spellbinding outdoor events, blending spectacular projection, fire and music with a sprinkling of magic are heading to the North-East! Inspired by local stories and landscapes from across Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.
North of the Tyne, Under the Stars tells the tale of a mysterious visitor, a Story-Weaver called down from the stars to travel the area and spin a new story about Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.
The Story-Weaver visited Blyth, North Shields, Wallsend, Byker, Fenham and Hexham on her quest, gathering up all of the ingredients she has collected and inviting us to Newcastle to witness the magic she has woven from all the tales that she has found.
The finale weekend of the free dazzling light spectacle will be in Newcastle City Centre from Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 March from 6:30pm – 10pm.
In this Festival Finale, these tales are brought to life in spectacular large-scale projections, inspired by the diversity, beauty, heritage, landscape and people of the North of the Tyne.
Download your free festival guide here.
Tyne Bridge to Close for Several Weeks for £41m Restoration
Several weeks of overnight closures are planned in order to allow engineers to assess how bad a state the Tyne Bridge is in, before it can be restored to its former glory.
The long-overdue restoration is estimated to cost £41m in order to restore the bridge and refurbish the Central Motorway.
According to a local authority report, the inspection is expected to require the famous crossing to be closed from 10pm to 6am from June 13 to July 1. A number of roads underneath the bridge on the Newcastle Quayside are also due to be affected by the works – with closures due between May 16 and June 10 on Quayside, Lombard Street, Queen Street, and Akenside Hill from 8pm to 6am.
A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “We submitted a bid for £41.4 million to Government which, if approved, will enable a four-year maintenance programme for the Tyne Bridge and the Central Motorway to go ahead. As part of the funding process, we are required to carry out some initial works on the Tyne Bridge.
“This includes a full inspection of the bridge, so we can assess its condition and the scale of works required to finalise the costings and project plans to fully restore and refurbish this major structure. This needs to be completed ahead of funding being approved.
“As we need to inspect the entire span of the bridge, overnight closures may be required on the bridge and roads underneath it, so engineers can complete this work safely. Details on the programming are being finalised.”
The Tyne Bridge has not had any major maintenance for two decades and its much-needed refurbishment has been at the top of council officials’ to do list for years, in the hope of ensuring it is looking its best once again by its 100th birthday in 2028. However, it has been warned that the grade II* listed structure may have deteriorated into a worse condition than currently known and council bosses have warned that, like on other major projects like the Grainger Market’s roof repairs, the refurbishment may take longer than expected.”
Seaburn and Roker Beaches Named Best Beaches in the Country in 2022
Sunderland’s beaches have been named among the best in the country for the 11th year running.
Seaburn and Roker were both named as winners of the Seaside Award by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The pair were once again handed Blue Flags, marking them out for their for their excellent water quality, cleanliness and attempts to constantly improve visitor amenities.
The Blue Flag awards, now in their 35th year, are issued by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and act as ‘a quality mark so visitors can be sure the beaches boast top-notch facilities and meet the highest environmental standards’.
Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Vibrant City, said: “It is fantastic to see Sunderland’s beautiful beaches once again awarded the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Award.
“Flying these flags at Roker and Seaburn shows everyone who visits that our seafront has excellent quality bathing water and first-class facilities.
“We’re very lucky to have fantastic beaches with beautiful, clean water to swim and bathe in, and this national recognition is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in keeping our beaches clean, tidy and well-maintained.”
Best Children Activities in the North East
Looking for a way to entertain the kids for the day? Well, lucky for you, we have rounded up the best children activities in the North East.
From donkeys and pigs to mice and rabbits, expect to meet all your favourite farm animals and more! Whitehouse Farm is also home to striped skunks, marmoset monkeys, harris hawks, bearded dragons, curly haired tarantulas – the list could go on and on. We won’t tell you them all, so there’s still plenty to be surprised by. However, we can’t resist telling you, you are in for a treat as you will even have the chance to handle and feed the animals!
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