CaptureLEADING Sunderland retailers are adding a bit of polish to the city centre – as they get behind a major campaign to Clean for the Queen.

Over the weekend of March 4 – 6 people around the UK are being asked to help tidy up the country, in advance of the Queen’s official 90th birthday celebrations in June.

And a number of Sunderland’s leading stores, working closely with the city’s Business Improvement District, are now poised to sweep into action and give the centre a spruce.

Boots, Santander, Marks & Spencer, Greggs and EE have joined forces with the BID to help make the city centre a more vibrant place and to encourage more visitors.

And as part of that campaign the five retailers have also got behind the Clean Up For the Queen initiative, with staff from all companies tidying up in and around the centre.

Clean up will take place around Derwent Street, Olive Street, Blandford Street and Vine Place where people will be litter picking and sweeping.

The areas around John Street, Frederick Street and West Sunniside will also be allocated litter pickers who will ensure the area looks tidy.

“We work very closely with the retailers in the city centre because we all have one aim – to ensure that Sunderland is a safe, clean and vibrant place to visit,” said Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID.

“It’s great to see a group of major retailers really come together in this way and be part of a national event but one which will also make a real difference to Sunderland.”

The stores involved are all part of the Healthy High Streets initiative, which aims to help improve footfall, create jobs and decrease the number of empty units in 100 towns and cities around the UK.

Sunderland became part of the initiative in July 2015 and the Clean for the Queen event highlights the commitment of those involved to help improve the experience of anyone visiting the city.

Martin Kemp, Branch Director of Santander Sunderland said: “It’s a great initiative to support the city centre and to take pride in our city. The partners of the Healthy High Street are all committed in helping businesses prosper and a clean city will enhance the experience for the people of Sunderland.”