Since its launch in 2014 Sunderland BID has led and supported a wide range of initiatives designed to increase footfall, boost business in the city centre and really help to put Sunderland on the map.
This has included a series of music festivals, such as Live and Loud and The Sanctuary and African Festival at the Minister, as well as a successful Christmas in Sunderland programme, which attracted more than 40,000 visitors combined.
It has also supported Britain in Bloom and delivered street art to improve the city’s image and street scene. And established an Operations BID Action Team, which has introduced talking cameras and developed new, Area Forums, which have all contributed to a reported reduction in crime figures around the city centre.
One of Sunderland BID’s biggest successes to date has been the drive to boost the city’s evening economy by introducing free parking and late night shopping, with more than 55 stores around the city centre now staying open until 8pm every Thursday.
Speaking at Sunderland BID’s first AGM, Chair, John Craggs, said: “It is clear that the BID is working very hard to deliver projects that will make a positive difference for Sunderland in both the short and longer term.
“There is still much to do and, given the size of the team, the BID’s plans can only be delivered by working in close partnership with businesses and other bodies such as the Council. That requires everybody to commit to working collaboratively and it is beholden on all of us to ensure that happens.”
Sunderland BID, which is funded by levy paying businesses within the city centre, has already made great strides towards its objectives of “putting Sunderland on the map,” making it a “city to be proud of” and establishing a “strong business voice” within the area – and the organisation has big plans for the future.
“From staging the first ever African Festival to being named Britain in Bloom’s Best City and launching VIBE magazine, which now reaches more than 470,000 homes and businesses across Sunderland, the past 12 months have shown just what can be achieved when we work together,” said Chief Executive, Ken Dunbar.
“We’ve already hit the ground running and have no intention of slowing down, with a lot of exciting things already in the pipeline for the weeks, months and even years ahead.”
For more information about Sunderland BID, including details on forthcoming events and how to get involved, visit www.bidsunderland.co.uk