The success of the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta Blyth 2016 was recognised last night as the event doubled up at The Journal Culture Awards 2017, being named Best Event Northumberland and Best Overall Event.
Tall Ships organisers from the Port and its lead partner Northumberland County Council were joined by major sponsors and officials as well as more than 400 other guests at Hexham Abbey for the awards, described by the paper as a “joyous annual celebration of North East creativity”.
During a night of performances and presentations, with winners including Dave Johns, star of the film I, Daniel Blake and Mick Henry, former leader of Gateshead Council who received a special award for his outstanding contribution to North East culture, the Tall Ships event fought off stiff competition in both categories to win the coveted prizes.
Entertainment was provided by world class acts from the North East including the superb national choir of the year Voices of Hope, and Kathryn Tickell and her young band Superfolkus while the awards themselves are the work of award winning artist Dan Gough. Following in the tradition of all Culture Awards since its inception in 2007, where trophies are commissioned each year from a local artist, the distinctive red and gold ceramic squirrels were a real talking point at the ceremony.
Port of Blyth Chief Executive Martin Lawlor said: “After the success of the event last summer these awards are the icing on the cake. Whilst our real focus was to support the creation of an event to make the people of Blyth proud and welcome visitors from all over the world, being recognised by these prestigious awards is a huge honour.