So what is a Business Improvement District? The first were set up a decade ago - in 2004  - to revitalise and regenerate commercial areas in towns and cities across the UK. From a modest start there are now scores of BIDS all over the country, working in partnership in many diverse areas but with one aim - to help the commercial area thrive. 

We're in good company as some of the biggest cities in the UK have a BID scheme - from Bath to Birmingham, from Canterbury to Cornwall. 

The BID is financed through a levy paid by businesses in the improvement area which means that they have vested interest in ensuring that we are a success and make Sunderland city centre a vibrant, exciting, safe and green place to visit.

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Your weekly guide to what's going on in Sunderland city centre - https://t.co/IzLmamZYhl
Now that's a blast from the past! Recent work on DD's store in Blandford Street has uncovered some timely signs, e… https://t.co/WMYzjAramM
Can you help spread Christmas cheer? 🍫 Cash for Calendars & need 500 donated advent calendars this… https://t.co/EO0ygHI1ul
This was reported to our street rangers and efficiently sorted. https://t.co/CEZ7cdQxtl
We spy with our little eye a Christmas Tree arriving in Keel Square! https://t.co/ckMxPYLYvP
RT : Get your family into the festive spirit by joining us, and this Christmas for a Reindeer… https://t.co/e2kziQ7S7x
RT : City centre levy paying retailers in Sunderland have less than 2 weeks to vote on whether to renew the… https://t.co/DBfAzNhJIo
Wonder if he’ll be up for a game of BOGIES before we start the race? https://t.co/2FpJ7oLmEf
3...2...1... The countdown to Sunderland's Christmas Light Switch On is getting closer! Make your way to Keel Squ… https://t.co/yZ0p4Ep5Cv
Come and see our new culture installation at the bottom of Blandford Street, a hub for workshops and creativity ove… https://t.co/cz5R3oSJ40