A new café has opened in Sunderland to spark a revival of independent shops in a once-thriving city centre high street.
Simon Forster has opened No 18 Holmeside in the former Chic and Iconic clothes store, in Holmeside, which had stood empty for a year.
He converted the site into a café and coffee shop, serving up premium tea and coffee brands and a quirky take on classic café fare such as pear, brie and nutella paninis.
He said: “The north east of England didn’t really have many places for me to be inspired and go in and have a coffee.
“Sunderland used to have many nice places, and over the years it’s kind of gone down, and I wanted to create something that was from London and put it here.”
SR News reporters Beth King and Yolanda Branch went along to see what all the buzz around the independent café was about.