Hartlepool has been shortlisted for a national tourism award for hosting the Tall Ships Races.

Hartlepool Council has been named a finalist in the category of Best Event in the Year in 2010 in the Visit England Awards for Excellence.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Leicester on May 22. During the races, Hartlepool hosted 59 vessels and 2,000 crew members from around the world. The authority said 970,000 visitors were attracted to the event - 717,800 from outside Hartlepool. It also said £26.5m was generated for the local economy, although that has been disputed by leading councillors.

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