Festival stars in trophy success

Coun Gary Bell (left) with Simon Fitzpatrick and Ema Lea of the Whitley Bay Film Festival.

Coun Gary Bell (left) with Simon Fitzpatrick and Ema Lea of the Whitley Bay Film Festival.

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A festival which has helped raise the profile of Whitley Bay has picked up a prestigious award.

The Whitley Bay Film Festival has won the annual Whitley Bay Town Cup for 2015, being presented with the trophy before last week’s full North Tyneside Council meeting.

The festival, first set up in 2010, is held in August each year to celebrate film, media and art in unique locations around North Tyneside, as well as additional one-off screening events including classic, independent and local films.

Council chairman Coun Gary Bell said: “The festival does a fantastic job of attracting visitors to Whitley Bay and I’m looking forward to seeing what exciting projects they provide in the future.”

Ema Lea, festival director, said: “It’s a great honour to receive civic recognition for our festival and it’s also a credit to the community of volunteers who have made this event happen over the last six years.”

“Thank-you to all those who have been involved. We look forward to more in 2016.”

North Tyneside Council awards the cup to an organisation or individual of the town who has brought about an outstanding event in the last year, or has been of outstanding service to the community.

Previous winners of the cup, which dates back to 1954, include The Jam Jar Cinema, Angels of the North and The Bay Foodbank.