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Puffin festival wins grant funding

Monday 31st December 2012

A puffin festival will be hosted by a town to encourage tourism thanks to a £10,000 grant awarded to help regeneration.
Amble, in Northumberland, will also use the money to launch a campaign to encourage residents to shop locally.
The money has been awarded to Amble Development Trust and Amble Business Club from the Department for Communities and Local Government through its Town Team Partners scheme. The town was invited to apply following its unsuccessful bid to become a Mary Portas Pilot Town.
Amble's first Puffin Festival will take place from May 18 to June 1, which coincides with the best time to see puffins and pufflings on Coquet Island. It will include exhibitions from local community groups, children's events, live music and watersports.
Amble Action Group member Ann Burke said: "I'm thrilled the Puffin Festival can go ahead. So many people are so enthusiastic about it already, so many organisations want to take part. It's going to be a great community event.
"We hope this will encourage tourism. Amble is unique in having an island so close where the puffins breed. It will be an excellent opportunity to see the puffins and pufflings and we want to celebrate that."
The funding will also allow for the Try Amble 1st campaign to be developed to help promote Amble's independent traders.
Colin Harris, chairman of Amble Business Club, said: "We'll be consulting with local businesses for ideas to encourage local people to spend money in Amble first, before going out of the area. It's not just about retail, we want people to use local service providers, tradesmen and professional services as well."
As a Town Team Partner, the town will also be able to tap into a support package prepared by the Association of Town Centre Management.
Julia Aston, director of Amble Development Trust, said: "The trust is really pleased that we've managed to secure some funding to assist with the ongoing regeneration of the town. We can't carry out all the projects we submitted in our second round application, but the money will allow us to prosecute two elements that we hope will increase footfall and spending within the town and therefore assist local businesses."

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