Thursday, 14 December 2017

Success keeps on coming for the Rat Inn and chef Kevin MacLean

I am so pleased that my nominee for Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year, Kevin MacLean of The Rat Inn, Anick, has been shortlisted as one of four national finalists. The competition is searching for the country's most talented pub chefs and Kevin is now down to the final four after a panel of judges selected the best entries from more than 130 nominations. Kevin will next take part in a cook-off event in London in January and the winner will be announced the following month. The competition is run by the British Beer and Pub Association and the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group in partnership with Nestle Professional.

Pubs are an incredibly important part of the local economy and community, and The Rat Inn is a particular favourite of mine. I am delighted that Kevin has been recognised for the wonderful food that the Rat Inn is famous for. I wish Kevin the best of luck at the cook-off and have no doubt that he will do himself, The Rat Inn and the Hexham constituency proud.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Start sculpting your career as an artist

If you're 18-25 years old, Cheeseburn Sculpture want you to apply for the third Gillian Dickinson North East Young Sculptor of the Year competition. The award is an annual award of £6500 to encourage new talent and to support the early careers of young North East artists, providing a professional showcase at Cheeseburn and helping them begin their professional career.

The deadline for applying has now been extended to Friday 15th December 2017, and to apply you must be 18-25 years old, from the North East or studying and committed to establishing an artistic practice in the North East, or already be a practicing artist in the North East. Ten artists will be shortlisted and will be awarded £300 each to develop a proposal for a sculpture of an installation at Cheeseburn. The winning artist will be announced in summer 2018, receiving a bursary of £1500 and a production budget of £5000 to produce the work which will be unveiled at Cheeseburn in 2019. To apply, complete the application form found here - -

and email it to along with up to six images of your current work. 

Arts and culture are vital parts of any community, and I hope that any aspiring young artists in Tynedale and Ponteland will take this brilliant opportunity. You never know, your work might be on show at Cheeseburn in the future! 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Showcasing the North East

There is fantastic news for the North East as VisitBritain, Newcastle Airport and NewcastleGateshead Initiative have announced a partnership to promote the region to overseas visitors. The aim of the partnership is to encourage more visitors to come to the North East and explore our culture and heritage over the course of three years. The initiative will target visitors from Germany in its first year, with direct flights from Berlin to Newcastle making the North East an attractive destination. Northumberland Tourism are one of several organisations involved with the project, which will hopefully showcase the North East as a great destination for international tourists, improving the economy and the tourism industry in the area. Next year’s Great Exhibition of the North will also play a significant role in encouraging international tourists to visit the region, with exhibits, performances, culture and much more hopefully promoting the North East to a wider audience. We know that the North East is a wonderful place to live and visit- this partnership will make sure everyone else knows too!