GATESHEAD will be showing its rainbow colours this August, as the borough holds its first ever Pride.

The month-long celebration is being organised by charity, Out North East, and is being supported by Gateshead College.

And the family friendly event will feature everything from a Pride colour fun run through Chopwell Woods to a family picnic in Saltwell Park.

Out North East has put together a programme which is designed to educate, celebrate and entertain both local people and visits throughout the month.

It kicks off with a takeover of the Metrocentre on August 3 with a full day of activities and will culminate in the Pride on Tyne Concert at Baltic Square on Sunday 25 August.

Sponsored by train company, Lumo, the free event will be headlined by singer Sonia with performances by Alex Party, Soraya Vivian, London dance group Homoparody, Future is Queer and Gateshead College students.

Other highlights of the programme include film screenings at the Pride Media Centre at Pelaw and a Pride Lawn Green Bowling Tournament on August 18 at Pelaw, with all proceeds going to both Pelaw Community Bowling Club and Out North East.

The first 5k Pride Colour Fun Run – in partnership with Forestry England – will take place on 21 August where as well as the run through Chopwell Woods, less athletic visitors can also enjoy a range of food and drink stalls, activities for children and even axe throwing and archery.

This is just a flavour of the many activities which will take place across the month and David Alexander, Principal and Chief Executive of Gateshead College, said the college was proud to be supporting the event.

“Gateshead College is a safe and welcoming place to work and learn, a place where people feel they belong and can be themselves and we’re really proud of our diverse community,” he said.

“Pride in Gateshead promises a month-long series of events celebrating equality and diversity and we’re delighted to partner with our friends at Out North East to support the festival.”

Dale Owens, Chief Executive, Gateshead Council said: “We are delighted to be supporting Out North East on this project and there are lots of fantastic events planned which we would encourage everyone to get involved in.

“As an organisation we value inclusivity and respect and we know that this month long celebration will support our commitment to community cohesion.

“We want everyone in Gateshead to be proud of our borough, proud of our local communities and proud of our differences as, more than anything else, it is the people of Gateshead who make us the unique, creative, ambitious and culturally diverse borough that we are all fortunate to be part of.

“It’s going to be a really exciting month for Gateshead with a fantastic programme of activities and we can’t wait for it to start.”

Peter Darrant, Chair of Out North East, said Pride In Gateshead has “received fantastic support.

“For the very first Pride in Gateshead we really wanted to pull together an ambitious and eclectic programme which would have something for people of all ages,” he said.

“And we couldn’t have done that without the backing of organisations like Gateshead College and Gateshead Council.

“Their support has enabled us to make sure that Pride in Gateshead is going to be a month to remember for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.”

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