Plenty of promise after East Durham festival proves a hit

Visitors to Peter Lee Methodist Church get a chance to take a look at some of the arts that can be borrowed to display in their own home.

Visitors to Peter Lee Methodist Church get a chance to take a look at some of the arts that can be borrowed to display in their own home.

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STREET parades have been hailed as one of the highlights of a cultural celebration after it came to a close.

The first East Durham Creates Festival feature more than 40 events staged across its towns and villages.

Marches held through Peterlee and Thornley among other locations have been championed among its successes.

Other events included games hosted in parks in Easington, Horden, Peterlee and Wheatley Hill, film screenings at the Castle Dene shopping centre and celebrations of local people’s favourite songs.

Community centres and churches also hosted sessions.

A library of around 60 artworks toured the area, giving families the chance to borrow a piece to put on show for a week.

Nikki Locke, the festival’s programme manager, said: “We’ve had so much positive feedback.

“People really enjoyed it and one of the many highlights for me was the art lending library and the parades that we did in Peterlee, Thornley and South Hetton.

“Lots of people came along and came out of their houses to listen to the band music.”

The festival, which came to an end at the weekend after an 18-day run, was the first of four to be held.

The debut will be followed by others held in spring and again in autumn, with the feedback from the initial programme now being collated.

A date for the next is still to be confirmed, with the comments from visitors to the events being used to put together the next events.

The festivals aims to inspire people through culture and draw in investment into the area.

Peterlee-based East Durham Creates is managed by Beamish Museum, Forma and works in partnership with East Durham Trust working in partnership.

It is supported by Durham County Council via East Durham Area Action Partnership and funded with Arts Council England Creative people and places cash.