Sunderland BID are aiming to transform the way Sunderland’s local economy flourishes, with some huge successes such as the new Keel Square, the new College in Park Lane, the Tall Ships Race 2018 and the recent announcement of Lottery funding for the refurbishment of the Fire Station. This transformation has started with a dynamic Christmas programme which has received great feedback from a number of businesses. There are also a range of new bars and restaurants taht have opened which will help to create a more vibrant feel to the city.
We are now focusing on plans to revitalise the city’s evening economy from January 2015. We have now negotiated free parking in all Council car parks on a Thursday after 3pm, which we are using as a platform to build late night shopping on a Thursday evening. Sunderland is one of the few cities in the UK that doesn’t have a late shopping night other than at Christmas and all the evidence suggests that those towns and cities that embrace late night shopping, benefit from increased footfall and spend. We are confident that late night shopping together with a developing programme of events will help to attract more visitors into the city centre.
So far a number of businesses in the Bridges Shopping Centre, on High Street West and Fawcett Street have committed to late night opening, but we need more businesses to get involved as this will help to boost the city’s appeal to more people who live in the city and further afield.