North East Connected

Sunderland to Benefit from High Street Regeneration Programme

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 15.22.31Sunderland is announced as one of the latest towns across the UK to receive support from some of the UK’s biggest brands.

EE, Exterion Media and Greggs join founding partners Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander to support the transformation of UK High Streets.

Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets programme aims to increase footfall by 10%, reduce the number of vacant properties by 20% and stimulate the creation of new jobs in 100 towns over three years. The programme launched in June 2014 and is backed by some of the UK’s biggest high street brands – founding partners Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander and new partners EE, Exterion Media and Greggs.

Sunderland is one of 34 new High Streets selected for the programme across the UK today, bringing the total number of participating High Streets to 67.  It will receive a bespoke package of support, including access to skills and expertise, and dedicated High Street Champions from supporting businesses who will work together with the local partnership team, local authority and relevant local partners to devise an action plan to address the specific challenges facing the city.

“This really is fantastic news for Sunderland,” said Sunderland BID Chief Executive, Ken Dunbar, “especially as it comes soon after the BID being founded. Securing a place in the Healthy High Street programme will bring yet more partners closer to the planning and co-ordination of projects that will help to revitalise the city centre and create much needed vibrancy. I’m looking forward to working with BITC and its key partners in the delivery of the Healthy High Street programme, to enhance the impact of the BID’s work.”

In one year, the Healthy High Street programme has brought support and resources worth £9 million**from its corporate partners into 33 UK high streets. The final 33 towns to benefit will be announced next year.

Commenting on the programme’s expansion, Robin Foale, Managing Director, Santander Business Banking, and chair of the Healthy High Streets programme said “Congratulations to Sunderlandon being chosen to be part of the Healthy High Streets programme. This is a great opportunity to work with the business partners and the local High Street Champions to transform the city and create a thriving, vibrant centre for the local community.”

Business in the Community’s Peter Donohoe said: “One of the most powerful ways for business to make an impact in communities is by creating high streets that are vibrant places to live, work and do business. It has been heartening to see first-hand the practical difference that collaborative, business-led action can make on UK high streets in just one year. While there is much be proud of about our High Streets Programme we also know that there is more work to be done. We warmly welcome Greggs, EE and Exterion Media as programme partners and  look forward to working withSunderland to create lasting change.”

To find out more about Business in the Community’s high streets work visit

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