Matthew Neville

Free street festival makes next stop on County Durham high street tour

Touring festivals making their way across County Durham will stop in two more towns this weekend in a bid to encourage local people to “visit and enjoy their high streets”.

With two different towns hosting the festival each weekend, residents have been able to enjoy a variety of entertainment including circus performances, street entertainment, face painting and crazy golf.

The events also support the county’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025. If successful, the bid will mean more opportunities for exciting events to be brought to communities across the county. Having already visited Seaham, Shildon, Crook, Ferryhill and Durham City, the street festivals will this weekend be moving on to Stanley and Consett.

Saturday March 19 will see the street festival descend on Front Street in Stanley where, from 11am to 3pm, people can witness circus performances and street entertainment, get their face painted, or try their hand at a climbing wall. Activities will then move to Middle Street in Consett on Sunday March 20 with a crazy golf course taking centre stage.

The events have been organised with money from the Welcome Back Fund (WBF) which was established by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The department invited councils to apply for grants to stage events to support the safe return of people to high streets following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The project will also receive £1,038,512 from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union, the ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “It is great to see people enjoying our street festival programme, with great turnouts to each of the events that have taken place so far.

“Stanley and Consett look set to be two fantastic family-friendly days out, so we hope people take advantage of the free activities and join in with the fun.”

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