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Published 12th Jul 2017

Pictured clockwise from front left are Dawn Nicholson, from Unison, Leanne Littlewood from Middlesbrough Council, Cllr Linda Lewis, Raza Rashid, Mela committee chair, Cllr Naweed Hussain and Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.

Middlesbrough Mela returns this weekend and once more visitors can look forward to “great food, great acts and a really fabulous atmosphere”.

Now in its 27th year, the event takes place in Centre Square on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16, and as always promises family fun, captivating music, delicious food and much more.

Big names on the varied bill include Cbeebies star Dr Ranj, The Only Way Is Essex’s Jasmin Walia and popular singer Zack Knight, along with headline acts HunterZ and Britain’s Got Talent star Signature, invited back by popular demand.

Hosts for the weekend are Remel London on Saturday and BBC Asian Network’s Kan D Man on Sunday.

There is also a wide array of international and local performers across the weekend.

Among those looking forward to it are the event sponsors, including long term supporters and new friends of the festival.

One returning sponsor is trade union Unison. Dawn Nicholson, Unison Area Organiser for Middlesbrough, said: “Unison is very proud and honoured to be able to sponsor Middlesbrough Mela again. It is a fabulous family event celebrating Middlesbrough’s culture and diversity.

“We will be there on day. Myself and colleagues always look forward to the great food, great acts and really fabulous atmosphere. It’s a brilliant event.”

Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger is also supporting the event once more. He said: “I have attended the Mela for over twenty years, and have always been astounded at the vibrancy and creativity of the event.

“This year’s line-up is phenomenal and I’m sure it will again prove to be a fantastic way for diverse cultures to be recognised and celebrated. I hope to see lots of local people attending the Mela this year; we are hosting crime prevention stalls and providing information. I am proud to help to sponsor the event as part of my community cohesion aims.”

Mela’s home, Centre Square, has already this year been used for the hugely popular Orange Pip Market Summer Special and the Town Meal and will later this year be used for an Oktoberfest event and Everyone Eats food festival.

Middlesbrough Council aims to bring more events to the Square as land to the east of it is redeveloped for Grade A office space.

Ashall Projects, developers behind the recently approved plans for the regeneration of Centre Square, have also provided sponsorship, as have Firstsource who are based in the nearby Fountains Court.

The Ashall Projects development has the potential to bring 1,500 jobs and Firstsource just this week announced plans to bring 350 news jobs to Middlesbrough taking them up to 650 staff.

Mark Ashall, of Ashall Projects, said: “We are delighted to sponsor the Mela this year. Centre Square is the cultural and civic heart of Middlesbrough and plays host to an array of important events. The line-up for the Mela this year is fantastic and we're looking forward to a brilliant weekend.”

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