The announcement of who will be UK City of Culture in 2021 is going to be made live on BBC One this evening. We have no doubt that Sunderland would be an outstanding choice for this prestigious award. Having moved to Sunderland four years ago we have our home in the heart of the city and are committed to supporting its growth and development.

Even without the recognition of winning tonight, we’re going to be celebrating the ambitious plans for the city — some of which we thought we’d outline in this blog post, just in case you haven’t checked in on Sunderland for a while.

Thriving Manufacturing and Digital Industries

We are proud to call Sunderland Software Centre our home, alongside numerous other SMEs and emerging companies in technology, software and gaming. Together we are part of a thriving business centre, that is part of a nurtured movement by the Sunderland City Council to support innovative and high tech companies. The Digital Catapult Centre based at the centre works with companies to support innovation, increase productivity, delivering transformation and growth.

We have been sponsoring Sunderland Digital for little under a year now. The informal community event, that takes place every month, has become a mainstay in the North East tech diary. This event, which has been successfully hosting talented individuals from the local area and beyond, presents the skills and talent in the city and demonstrates the community spirit.

The products may now be cars or software, but the city is working hard to increase investment, outsider knowledge and attracting opportunities into the area through MAKE it Sunderland.

Not only are there the front-runners in digital innovation in Sunderland, but there are practices that aid in manufacturing investments with the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) plans coming together, located adjacent to our clients Nissan in Washington Way. The impact of these advancements creates opportunities for the economy to flourish while continuing the historical tradition of making products in Sunderland. The products may now be cars or software, but the city is working hard to increase investment, outsider knowledge and attracting opportunities into the area through MAKE it Sunderland.

Culture, Creativity and Events

A quick scroll through the ‘See it Do it Sunderland’ or Sunderland Business Improvement District show a hive of activities suited for every type of individual. No matter what you’re interested in, Sunderland has a huge amount to offer which is brought to you by passionate individuals.

The regeneration that is taking place in the city’s cultural quarter is clearly adding value to Sunderland’s residents and visitors. The reimagining of pubs such as The Dun Cow and The Peacock combined with the building of new performance and arts venues near to the ambitious Vaux Brewery site give one end of the city new life. With organisations such as Dance City gaining a home here there are clear signs that Sunderland is becoming a major cultural hub in the North East.

Embracing Our Heritage

If you look around, you can also see evidence of the extensive heritage that the city has to offer. However the historical sites are not left in a time-capsule, through innovation the buildings have had new life injected into them as they become cultural hubs.

Representation of this can be seen in the renovation of the Old Fire Station, now named the Engine Room, that has blossomed into a bar and bistro. Another example can be seen in Hylton Castle’s work, whose history dates back to the 14th century. Similar to the Engine Room it is set to change into a community-based visitor attraction, that will celebrate the history of those who lived and worked at the manor house. The city’s perseverance to not only preserve, but to regenerate forgotten buildings into working use, provides the area with cultural attractions of unique style and beauty.

As a company we get to experience the numerous forms of culture, attending office socials in local watering holes, sponsoring events and working alongside passionate clients. We see the potential of what Sunderland can offer and we, Consult and Design, back Sunderland’s 2021 bid for UK City of Culture. We wish those visiting Hull to make the final pitch today the very best of luck and thank them for the amazing work they’ve done to get this far.

If you want to find out more about Sunderland 2021 visit the website or watch the video below. Don’t miss the announcement tonight on The One Show and whatever the outcome, drop by for a cuppa some time and enjoy the wonderful City of Sunderland.

Lizzie Henderson

Lizzie Henderson

Marketing Intern

Got a project in mind? Get in touch to discuss how we could work together