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Ironing out festival idea lands top award

Members of the Iron Press Festival team who won a Culture award. Picture by Dave Turnbull.

Members of the Iron Press Festival team who won a Culture award. Picture by Dave Turnbull.

An independent press group is celebrating after winning a prestigious culture award for a festival marking their anniversary.

IRON Press took home the Best Event Tyneside award at the Culture Awards 2013, held at the Sage Gateshead last week.

It was honoured for the Iron Press Festival, held over five days in Cullercoats last May, to markits 40th anniversary.

The festival featured 15 events at six different locations around the village while among the special guests were Melvyn Bragg and Ian McMillan.

Peter Mortimer, founder and editor of IRON Press, said: “As far as I know this is the first time a small independent press has been featured in these prestigious awards and it’s a fillip for all of us who beaver away in this unsung and underfunded area of the arts.

“The whole five days of the festival was a sell-out. Everyone thought it was amazing.

“We’ve had lots of requests to do another festival and I’m going to speak to the council to see if we can.”

It is the second year a North Tyneside group has won the award after Whitley Bay Film Festival was honoured last year.

Mr Mortimer said: “It’s great the award stays in North Tyneside.

“Both organisations are pretty small, we’re up against big funded events so it’s great that we’ve both won it.”

He added: “We had lots of people come from outside the region, people who had never been to Cullercoats before.

“Such was the popularity, we had more nominations for the award than any other finalist.

“I really hope we can do another festival.”

 

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