For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Ashes Test proves North-East can host world-class sport - now give us more
THE North-East’s first Ashes Test showed the world that the region is up to hosting top quality sporting events.
That was the near-unanimous verdict hours after England won the fourth Test and the Ashes series in dramatic style.
Over four days, tens of thousands descended on Chester-le-Street, boosting the economy by an estimated £20m and projecting a positive image of the North-East across the globe.
The BBC’s Pat Murphy posted on Twitter: “A (Durham) Test every summer please.”
Durham County Council leader Simon Henig, who represents a Chester-le-Street ward, said: “It’s been a fantastic advert for County Durham and the North-East.
“To have the Ashes in the North-East for the first time has been amazing – a unique occasion and very special. It was everything we hoped it would be.
“We have demonstrated that the county and the region can put on a top quality sporting event. We all knew that, but now we’ve demonstrated it.”
Much effort went into making visitors feel welcome and taking advantage of the Emirates ground’s semi-rural setting, while still getting people into the town centre, where there was entertainment including a man-made beach, stilt walkers and live music.
Andrew Megginson, co-ordinator of Chester-le-Street Area Action Partnership, said there had been a real buzz around the town and 70 volunteer ‘Ashes makers’ had been the week’s unsung heroes.
“We had a great four days of cricket, great weather and a fantastic result. Everyone’s on a high.
“We’ve proven we can do this. I’d like to think we can host it again,” he said.
The focus will now turn to how the town, county and region can build on this week’s success.
Melanie Sensicle, chief executive of Visit County Durham, points to the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition and Lumiere light festival.
“You can’t really have missed Durham in 2013,” she said.
“We’ve brought it front and centre and we couldn’t have done it without these events.
“I hope they’re going to be successful in securing similar matches in future and I’m sure the people who decide these things will look at what happened at Chester-le-Street and have got a good impression.”
Comments are closed on this article.