THE woman who oversaw the tall ships event in Hartlepool is leaving the local authority for pastures new.
Michelle Daurat has been at Hartlepool Borough Council for five years but is set to take on a new role at the National Glass Centre, in Sunderland.
The 42-year-old joined the local authority in November 2007 as tall ships project manager ahead of the event in August 2010 which saw dozens of ships and almost one million visitors flock to town.
The event received national and international recognition and even scooped a national tourism award.
After her tall ships role with the council, Ms Daurat then became events and commercial manager for the past 18-months.
Ms Daurat, who said she is “sad” to be going, leaves this week and starts her new role as head of business and operations at the glass centre, which is currently undergoing a major revamp and rebranding, next week.
The mum-of-one, from Sunderland, said: “The tall ships event was the most fantastic project and it was a real privilege to be involved.
“It was great to work with so many different officers and partner agencies and seeing everyone pull together.
“The event really helped raise the town’s profile and of course it won a national award and you can’t really do much more than that.
“The feedback was excellent and of course there are things we could have improved on but you get one chance and we did our very best.”
In May this year, Hartlepool Borough Council was recognised with the Gold Award in the Best Tourism Event of the Year category at the prestigious Visit England awards for Excellence 2012.
Hartlepool hosted the final leg of The Tall Ships Races when almost 60 vessels sailed into the town from Kristiansand in Norway.
A five-day festival followed which attracted an estimated 970,000 visitors to the event, which saw the council team up with PD Ports and Hartlepool Marina to organise it.