Wishing Sunderland all the very best of luck with the bid for UK City of Culture 2021.


The first round bid for this prestigious title was submitted today at 11am and the benefits of Sunderland being named UK City of Culture 2021 are difficult to overstate. 

It’s a serious, realistic bid that would transform our city. The team behind the bid is determined, professional and hard working and can deliver the City of Culture bid for us all.

I want everyone to know just how special Sunderland is, and City of Culture status will do just that. Our city is a truly wonderful place for creativity.

Our city is ambitious, brave and collaborative, and our bid is too! Winning UK City of Culture 2021 would bring so much to our city. It’s a cause that anyone who loves Sunderland should get behind and I urge everyone to do so.

A successful bid would quite simply transform how we’re seen by outsiders looking in. Ask people outside of the north east what they know of Sunderland and they’ll talk of a northern industrial city that has known better times.

They also may mention the football club and Nissan, but post-2021, Sunderland would be known around the world as a cultural city. It would have the reputation of a city with huge opportunities for artists and audiences; a city where artists and performers can thrive and find ample opportunities to grow.

The next generation would benefit hugely from a successful bid. The energy generated from a successful bid would help show young people that this city can be one of excitement; while the massive investment in the city would provide jobs and opportunities for years to come.

In terms of economy, it is estimated that Hull’s 2018 title could be worth more than £80m to the city, and we would expect a similar amount or more to be invested in Sunderland.

Improvements in infrastructure and new creative companies would be the result of this investment. The bid gives us the opportunity to showcase everything that is great about Sunderland -; our culture, community and creativity. It will bring a much-needed focus on the inventiveness of our people -; bringing investment and regeneration.


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