THE search is on for the future face of the county as this year’s Miss Northumberland contest is launched.
Last year, Laura Hickey, of Wooler, was given the prestigious title, and now she is kick-starting the hunt for her successor, the second Miss Northumberland.
This year’s winner will go on to compete for the title of Miss England and potentially Miss World.
The competition is not just about beauty, though, as the judges also mark participants on their grace and personality.
The Miss Northumberland competition is backed by a host of regional businesses, as well as Northeast Press, publisher of the News Post Leader, and this year they will be getting into the sporting spirit ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games as the county prepares to host the torch in June.
The winner of the competition will not only go on to compete in next year’s Miss England final, but will also land a modelling contract with the newly-established Glamrus agency and a host of other prizes.
Laura said: “Winning the title of Miss Northumberland has been an experience that I will treasure for ever. To be the first makes it even more special.
“I hope the next Miss Northumberland enjoys the title as much as I have and that she will have a fulfilling, exciting year. I wish all the entrants my sincere good luck and best wishes.”
Last year’s runners-up were Emily Stokoe, of Morpeth, and Chantelle Fairbairn, of Blyth.
The contest is being organised by One Voice Productions and will be supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care and Beauty with a Purpose.
Managing director Simon Robertson said: “After the success of launching Miss Northumberland this year, we wanted to really put the competition on the map.
“With the Olympics finally arriving and the torch passing through Alnwick, it seemed the perfect theme to embrace the competition for 2012.
“We are also delighted to be supporting two fantastic charities for 2012. We have a lot planned and can’t wait to get started.
“Laura has been a pleasure to work with and has represented the county with style and grace.”
Miss Northumberland 2012 is open to candidates aged 17 to 24 and is a chance for ambitious young people to represent their county and raise funding for local charities.
Heats will be held across the county in coming months.
To enter the competition, visit www.missnorthumberland.co.uk