Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 14.29.05A host of stars are sailing in to South Tyneside, with support from one of the borough’s biggest businesses.

Port of Tyne, named UK Port of the Year in the 2014 National Transport Awards, is sponsoring the Sunday Concert series at Bents Park, South Shields as part of the South Tyneside Festival 2015.

The line-up for this year’s event, organised by South Tyneside Council, includes chart-toppers 5ive and Atomic Kitten (July 12), soul sensation Billy Ocean (July 19), pop icons Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Feeling (July 26) and North East stars Joe McElderry, Collabro and Lola Saunders (August 2).

Susan Wear, Director of Corporate Affairs for Port of Tyne, said: “The Port of Tyne is proud to sponsor the South Tyneside Festival again this year. The Festival helps South Tyneside raise its profile in the region and nationally and brings thousands of visitors to the area, providing a welcome boost to the local economy.

“With an exciting line-up this year we are sure it is going to be another success and will be enjoyed by local people as well as visitors from further afield.”

The open air Sunday Concert series, which is also being sponsored by Colmans and Dicksons, forms part of a wider programme of free entertainment and activities making up the South Tyneside Festival 2015.

Other highlights in the three-month event, which runs until the end of August, include an Alice in Wonderland themed parade through South Shields on July 4, weekly performances at the open air amphitheatre and Kids Fun Fest parties during July and August and crafts markets on the first Sunday of every month.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “The South Tyneside Festival and its Sunday Concert series in particular, attract thousands of tourists and make a great contribution to the North East economy.

“It is through the support of Port of Tyne and other businesses that we are able to run such high profile events and offer visitors the chance to see artists of such high calibre perform for free.”

For more information and full listings for the South Tyneside Festival 2015 go to search for South Tyneside Events on Facebook, follow STynesideEvents on Twitter or call the South Tyneside Visitor Information Centre on 0191 424 7788.