A much-loved ice cream seller is heading back to Whitley Bay beach front.
The Di Meo family, who run the award-winning ice cream parlour in Marine Avenue, are returning with a stall on Watts Slope.
A permanent, year-round, ice cream kiosk – painted in the historic colours used for Whitley Bay street furniture – has moved on-site ready to serve up delicious gelato, cakes, snacks and drinks
It is planned to open during the Easter weekend.
Officials at North Tyneside Council are hoping work to reshape Watts Slope will be finished in time for the weekend as well.
Paths have been installed between the Links and the promenade and the gradient has been reduced to create a gentler slope down towards the beach, improving access for wheelchair users.
The toilet block has also recently undergone a complete refurbishment.
Luciano Di Meo, who runs the business, said: “Ever since I was a child I always remembered my parents dreamed of having a stall or café in Whitley Bay, we come from a long line of ice cream vendors.
“With securing the kiosk on Watts Slope, my parents and my family have surpassed those dreams and we now have both.
“The kiosk is in an amazing location and an area of great natural beauty. North Tyneside Council have granted our family an opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime and we look forward to working alongside them to deliver a first class service to visitors to the area.”
To mark the venture, Mr Di Meo has also revealed that he plans to create a new ice cream flavour which will only be available from the kiosk and will incorporate Whitley Bay in the name.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “It really is a pleasure to welcome the Di Meo family back to Watts Slope and I’m delighted that this kiosk is going to become a permanent fixture here.
“The Di Meo name is long established in Whitley Bay and is extremely highly regarded so this is a real coup for us and is a great example of the confidence local businesses now have in what we’re trying to achieve at the seafront.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for Whitley Bay and the whole of North Tyneside as our various regeneration schemes continue to make good progress – signalling our commitment to making it a great place to live, work and visit.
“I wish Mr Di Meo all the best with his new venture and I’m confident that this new facility, along with the improvements carried out to Watts Slope alongside the wider works, will bring families flocking to the area.”