FanzoneA NORTH EAST fanzone set up to provide a month of summer sporting action, is celebrating its success after boosting Sunderland’s economy during its time in the city.

The Sunderland BID Sports Fanzone, which ran from June 10 to July 10, saw a giant 20 metre-high screen erected in Park Lane, showing everything from the Euro 2016 games and Wimbledon to Glastonbury and the F1.

And now the initiative – set up by Sunderland BID in conjunction with bars in the Park Lane area of the city – has been hailed a hit after thousands of sports fans turned up to enjoy the big screen sporting action.

Ken, Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland Business Improvement District, said the event had drawn huge crowds to the area and saw bars report a 400% increase in sales.

“We are proud to have worked alongside the bars in the Park Lane area to host the Summer Fanzone and create a more vibrant atmosphere in the city centre,” he said.

“This is something that everyone has really enjoyed, and despite England’s loss at the Euros, the Fanzone was definitely a huge win for Sunderland.”

Andrew Golding, Managing Director of Nightlife North East, which owns Café Purple and The Point in Park Lane, said the Fanzone was a great opportunity for the Park Lane bars to maximise on footfall.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in visitor spend during the Fanzone’s time in the city,” said Andrew.

“The Park Lane area does get quite busy anyway but the presence of the screen meant that people were staying longer and opting to dine and drink in the surrounding bars and restaurants.

“We’re very pleased with what the Fanzone has done for the city and hope to see it return in the future.”

John Dickman, owner of Port of Call and Gatsby, added: “It’s been a fantastic month of sport enjoyed by all ages. The rise in footfall throughout the area has been phenomenal and we’re proud to have supported this fantastic venture – it’s been a huge success for the Park Lane area.”