Record numbers turn out for Bedlington's The Big Event

Some 2,500 enjoyed fun in the sun in South East Northumberland this weekend at Bedlington's Big Event

Record numbers turned out to The Big Event in Bedlington
Record numbers turned out to The Big Event in Bedlington

Sun shone over Bedlington as the town’s biggest annual family fun day enjoyed a record-breaking year.

The Big Event, organised by local charity Leading Link, took place for the third time at Attlee Park in the town.

More than 2,500 people - a record number - turned out following a 12-month renovation of the former Northumberland Miners’ Picnic venue.

The day also saw fundraising records smashed for the third year in a row, with vital funds being raised for the charity’s continuing community activities.

Northumberland's Got Talent winner Lewis Hill and runner-up Freya Barrass with judge Adam Wood of Radio Northumberland
Northumberland's Got Talent winner Lewis Hill and runner-up Freya Barrass with judge Adam Wood of Radio Northumberland

Lyn Horton, manager of Leading Link, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have had yet another record-breaking year in terms of people attending and money raised – the reaction from the general public on the field and comments on social media since the event have been truly overwhelming.

“Our Youth Ambassadors were absolutely fantastic as always manning stalls and picking up litter throughout the day, and we were also able to count on the support of our fantastic Board of Trustees as well local businesses, organisations and the wider community who came out in their thousands to support us.”

The day saw the refurbished bandstand at Attlee Park, the result of a £60,000 funding award from SITA Trust, used for the first time and being officially opened by Ian Lavery MP.

A girl has her face painted at The Big Event
A girl has her face painted at The Big Event
 

As well as fun fair rides, a BBQ and games including Beat the Goalie, the event also saw the final of Northumberland’s Got Talent.

Swing singer Lewis Hill, 13, edged out runner up Freya Barrass, 14, to the crown, but both finalists will now compete in the Northumberland Live talent competition finals in August, at The Phoenix Theatre in Blyth.

The overall winner then will have the chance to perform on the same stage as chart-toppers The Christians at a free music festival at Blyth Links later that month.

Jonny Hall, assistant manager of Leading Link, said: “The entertainment on the bandstand, in particular the Northumberland’s Got Talent final, was the highest standard that we have ever had.

The Big Event in Bedlington saw record numbers turn out this weekend
The Big Event in Bedlington saw record numbers turn out this weekend
 

“We were also extremely grateful to receive support from bait this year, who helped us to bring two professional acts to the park to help to create an atmosphere throughout the day.

“The response from those that attended the event was exceptional and we have already been asked about 2015.”

The Big Event was boosted by support from several organisations, including substantial Community Chest funding from Northumberland County Council, as well as Greggs, Warburtons and Northumbria Water. Reay Security donated stewards for the car parks, whilst funding from Northumberland Sport paid from the First Aid and the whole event was filmed courtesy of The Beautiful Image.

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