Three beaches retain blue flags for 20th year

Coun John Harrison (left) with the council team responsible for beaches celebrating the Blue Flag success.
Coun John Harrison (left) with the council team responsible for beaches celebrating the Blue Flag success.
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Three borough beaches have again been rated among the best in Europe.

Blue flags are once again flying over Tynemouth Long Sands (south), King Edward’s Bay and Whitley Bay (south) beaches.

We invest a lot of time caring for our beaches so I am delighted they have been recognised in such a prestigious way

Mayor Norma Redfearn

It is the 20th consecutive year they have been honoured for their clean water, litter-free sands and top facilities.

And in a further boost, the three – as well as Cullercoats Bay – have received a Seaside Award, meaning the borough has more beach awards than any other region in the country.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We invest a lot of time caring for our beaches so I am delighted they have been recognised in such a prestigious way.

“Like our residents, we’re immensely proud of them and they’re enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year, helping to bring tourism worth £243m to the local economy.

“We’re also investing heavily in Whitley Bay seafront, making sure it’s regenerated to the highest standard, and this too will help to increase visitor numbers, attract more businesses and create a thriving economy.”

Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for housing and the environment, added: “Both of these awards are hugely important to the borough – they show people that they can rely on the beaches as being clean and attractive places for all to enjoy.

“People can help us keep the standard of the coastline high by making sure no litter is dropped, use the recycling bins and respect the summer dog beach ban which is in force in certain areas.”

The awards are administered by Keep Britain Tidy and beaches must fulfil strict requirements, including tough bathing water quality, enforcement of dog byelaws, regular cleaning and a lifeguard service, to achieve the accolades.

Visitors are also reminded that the beach dog ban is also now in place. Running until September 30, dogs are not allowed on Longsands (south), Whitley Bay (south), Cullercoats Bay and King Edward’s Bay.