Festival of Thrift 2016 aims to boost area hit by steel closure

AWARD-winning Festival of Thrift, the UK’s only national celebration of sustainable living, is back for the fourth year running in a new North-East venue.

The family-friendly event is taking over Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds near Redcar on Saturday and Sunday September 18 and 19.

This year the festival will be concentrating on ideas and activities to support and encourage business development in recognition of the town’s steel works closure.

The programme will also include locally grown produce, food and drink inspired by the kitchen gardens and traditions at Kirkleatham. The local community involvement is a key element of the Festival both on the run up to the event and over the course of the weekend.

Woodland trails, a museum, a church, stable blocks and almshouses form the backdrop of this year’s Festival at its new venue of on the North-East coast after three years at Lingfield Point in Darlington.

READ MORE: Highlights from last year’s event  – Festival of Thrift returns in 2015

Stella Hall, Festival Director, said: “Redcar received such a huge blow in 2015 with the demise of the steel works which coincided with last year’s festival. We hope to show how each of us has skills and creativity we can contribute to create a sustainable community”

“The Festival of Thrift is dedicated to shining a light on the Tees Valley, celebrating the area’s individuality and the strength of its people.”

Festival of Thrift volunteering - photo by Tracy Kidd

Festival of Thrift volunteering – photo by Tracy Kidd

Festival of Thrift ringmaster

Festival of Thrift ringmaster

Festival of Thrift tipi 2014 by Tracy Kidd.

Festival of Thrift tipi 2014 – photo by Tracy Kidd.

The Festival has continued to grow in size as well as reputation. In 2015 the Festival welcomed 45,000 visitors throughout the weekend at its first home at Lingfield Point, Darlington, and scooped the Observer Ethical Award for Arts and Culture – a national coup for a home grown Festival. In the same year it won the North-East Tourism Event of the Year.

This year’s Festival will invite the UK’s thriftiest and most sustainable stallholders and build on some of the great programme from previous years including Alternative Village Fete with its mix of wandering performance and music stages, Oxglam recycled fashion shows, Bistros du Van with local and amateur chefs and Fix It Café, helping to save waste by fixing everything from a child’s music box to a broken computer.

Stella added: “The site is the epitome of great regeneration. Kirkleatham has a fascinating Museum collection, a stunning church and mausoleum, almshouses, railway cottages, park and woodland within walking distance.

“Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council will be sensitively developing the stables on site with an eye to business start-ups. Together with the new adventure playground it’s a complete gem of a festival location.”

Festival of Thrift website website