Beach opens as the seaside comes to Newark Market Place
The seaside has come to Newark with the opening of the beach in the Market Place this morning (Saturday).
The Mayor of Newark, Laurence Goff, performed the official opening, but families were already having fun in the sand.
Children have been filling the area, in front of Newark Town Hall, to take advantage of the sunshine at the beach, playing in the sand and building sandcastles.
Music by Caribbean band SteelGen added to the holiday mood.
Mr Goff said: "It is the first time we have had a beach here in Newark and in the heart of the town centre.
"We hope it will bring people into the town and support local businesses."
"People don't have to travel to the beach this year — we have it right here. And there will be activities for children and families as well"
The 21 metre by 12 metre beach is surrounded by deckchairs and food stands.
Around 35 tonnes of sand have been used to cover the cobbles.
Buckets and spades are available and the sound of waves adds to the seaside feel.
The urban beach — similar to one that has been built in Nottingham in recent years — will be available to the public for free every day until August 21, 10am to 4pm.
There will be a programme of daily activities includes sand castle competitions, local bands, street performers, Punch and Judy, seaside shows, face-painting and much more.
Ian Harrison, of Newark Town Council, said: “At this time of pressures on household budgets, the beach and entertainment will be free to all and we hope many families both from the Newark area and beyond will make a visit and enjoy some seaside atmosphere in what I am sure is one of the most beautiful market places in the UK.”
The beach will be covered over at night in order to maintain it.
The market will still continue and only two or three traders will be temporarily re-sited elsewhere within the market place.
The beach is funded as apart of the Newark Cultural Heart project.