A £1.25m grant has been awarded to Sunderland which will help towards improving the city’s cultural venues.
The grant, from The Great Place Scheme, is a huge early success for Sunderland Culture, the new company set up to run the city’s major attractions.
Sunderland is one of 16 pilot areas for The Great Place Scheme, which will be funded over a three-year period which will help put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of communities.
Thrilled by the news, Sunderland Culture’s Chief Executive, Keith Merrin, said: “To have such significant success in attracting new investment to Sunderland just weeks after being formed is hugely satisfying and encouraging.
“It says a great deal about the faith and trust that the scheme’s partners already have in us that they’ve chosen us to help pilot a major new national project.
“The funding is great news for Sunderland Culture, but also great news for the people of the city.”
Leader of the Sunderland City Council, Paul Watson, added: “I am delighted that Sunderland has been awarded this funding.
“It demonstrates that the vision and investment of the city council with our partners University of Sunderland and the MAC Trust in setting up Sunderland Culture is paying off in bringing new investment to the city and new opportunities for our communities.
“It also lays the foundations for our ambition for Sunderland to be City of Culture in 2021.”
The main job of Sunderland Culture is to deliver large scale projects, one of these is to oversee the current bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.
The bid will be the main focus for the new company, preparing the application for 2021 and taking over management of some venues and attractions.
Rebecca Ball, Project Director for Sunderland’s 2021 bid, said: “This is such wonderful news and keeps the momentum building. We have an ambitious 10-year vision and successes such as this help us create that vision, but also give us the confidence to continually aim higher.”
For more information about the Great Place Scheme visit: http://www.greatplacescheme.org.uk.