World-class events, iconic attractions and business 'suits' are keeping North East tourism afloat in recession-hit waters. Jez Davison reports.
Events and attractions
Major events and attractions have helped to create a £3.9bn North East tourism industry. Here’s a small selection.
You can read more about the great attractions on offer in the region, by visiting the Think North East First section of the journallive.co.uk website
Middlesbrough Music Live @– Last year’s event saw more than 45,000 people flock to Middlesbrough town centre.
Oasis and Take That concerts @– The Sunderland Stadium of Light hosted its first music gigs earlier this month, with around 160,000 people swaying to the sound of the chart-topping bands.
Great North Run@ – described as "the most iconic half-marathon on the planet", it attracts around 52,000 runners each year.
Angel of the North @– This iconic structure has become one of the most recognisable landmarks in the UK. Each day an estimated 90,000 motorists pass by the sculpture as well as hundreds of rail passengers travelling on the East Coast mainline from London to Edinburgh.
Saltholme Wildlife Reserve and Discovery Park @– Drew 35,000 visitors from all over the country in its first 100 days after opening in January.
Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience @– Keen historians can be transported back to Napolenic times at this reconstruction of an 18th century seaport, which harbours Britain’s oldest floating warship, the HMS Trincomalee.
Head of Steam@ – Following a £1.7m refurbishment, Darlington Railway Centre and Museum opened its doors in April last year with a new look and name. More than 30,000 have visited in the year.