The North East multi-cultural diversity event, Middlesbrough Mela, has received further funding from Arts Council England.

The new funding will be used to set up a six-month programme to develop Middlesbrough Mela into an all-year-round event. This includes making a new website for the event, which will include bringing people together from a range of different ethnic backgrounds in the region.

Middlesbrough Mela is usually held in Albert Park and celebrates ethnic diversity in the North East with live music, dance acts, markets and food stalls.

The event, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, will take place online for with a virtual online parade and arts and crafts workshops arranged.

The Mela was just one of 395 black and minority ethnic-led organisations across the country that receive funding from Arts Council England.

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Communities, said: “Mela is one of our most popular and well-attended events of the year, drawing crowds from across the region and beyond.

“It’s also the area’s longest-running multicultural event, and we are delighted to have secured this funding so we can provide activities and engagement through online platforms, and widen Mela’s reach even further into our communities.

“There’s going to be a whole host of activities for all ages to get involved with through online workshops such as Mela carnival costume making, really fun story-telling sessions, and carnival dance routines.

“We hope everyone gets involved.”

Details on how to get involved with this year’s virtual Mela event is available at