Spotlight on Sunderland as the City of Culture results draw closer


Photo by: Sunderland 2021.

Sunderland have the “spotlight” on Tuesday, as the City of Culture 2021 results draw closer.

The DCMS announced on Twitter they will be focusing their social media platforms on the shortlisted cities and on Tuesday it is Sunderland’s turn with #Sunderland.

Chair of the Sunderland 2021 Steering Group, Graeme Thompson, wants people to show what they love about Sunderland to go alongside the hashtag.

He said: “I want people to use social media to share their enthusiasm and love for Sunderland. It could be pictures of the seafront, tea at the National Glass Centre, Mowbray Park, [your] street, family, whatever they love about Sunderland and shout it from the rooftops.

“It’s an opportunity to show how much people want Sunderland to be City of Culture.”

The Sunderland City of Culture bid team will be out in the city on Tuesday, and Graeme described it as being “about letting the rest of the country know Sunderland is for the City of Culture”.

The Steering Group Chair admitted to having some nerves as the results edge nearer.

He said: “We feel excited, a little nervous, but mainly excited because we are so close to the finish and we feel confident of our good bid.”

The results are set to be released at 7.00pm on Thursday, live on The One Show on BBC One.

The Sunderland public have also got behind the bid and hoping that it can show people more of what the city has to offer.

Marion Wilkes, 57, from Sunderland thinks the bid has “raised awareness across the city, the different cultural activities that happen [and] that people weren’t aware of initially”.

She also felt that winning would bring a greater focus on the city and what it has to offer, while also making the people who live in Sunderland more aware of the good things they have on they doorstep.

In a rallying call to the people, Thompson said: “My message to the people of Sunderland is to keep believing, because if we win, this will be an amazing opportunity to transform the way the city feels about itself and the way the people and outsiders regard Sunderland.

“It will be a profile for Sunderland. The European City of Culture will be an unforgettable year of activities and events everyone gets to enjoy.

But keep believing and if we don’t win, there is a way in which all the effort, ideas and energy in the campaign can be used to create new opportunities for the city.”

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