£18million boost is music to the ears of Sunderland businesses

Peter Quinn from City Taxis which is expecting a surge in business for this summer's concerts at the Stadium of Light.
Peter Quinn from City Taxis which is expecting a surge in business for this summer's concerts at the Stadium of Light.
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GIG-goers will bring an £18million summer boost to Sunderland’s economy when they flock to the Stadium of Light next month.

Concert fever is already starting to grip the city – with just seven weeks to go until the musical marathon gets underway.

kings of leon shot for nme magazine, location elms lester painting rooms

kings of leon shot for nme magazine, location elms lester painting rooms

Some 200,000 people are expected to flood into Sunderland at the end of May to see Take That.

June will then see a predicted 50,000 audience for U.S. rockers Kings of Leon.

Business is already booming, with many hotels today reporting to be fully booked.

Now bars, restaurants, shops and taxis are being urged to make the most of the extra visitors.

Chris Alexander, Sunderland Council’s head of culture and tourism, said: “When we talk about the benefits of tourism, we consider the overall economic benefit to the city, and of course the concerts taking place this summer will provide a massive boost to Sunderland.

“People from all over the country, and perhaps abroad, will be visiting Sunderland – and it’s a huge opportunity to showcase what the city has to offer.

“Hotels are one of the obvious winners for major events like this, and the hotels in Sunderland have been booked full to capacity for the concerts for some time.

“Making sure all these people enjoy their experience of the city is vital.”

Research reveals that on average day visitors will spend £25 during their stay, with those staying overnight spending £125.

Businesses are being urged to encourage visitors to stop off at their venue and leave a lasting impression of the city.

Mr Alexander added: “We must make sure that our visitors enjoy not just the concerts, but their whole experience of Sunderland.

“Attracting them into the city earlier in the day means they can enjoy food and drink and shopping in Sunderland, as well as additional music and street performances that will take place at various venues around the city centre.”

City Taxis is gearing up for a busy time, and has already planned for its full fleet of 80 cars to work on the night.

Peter Quinn, who works for the company, is preparing for a busy few days.

Manager Andrew Bradburn said: “We’re expecting it to be extremely busy, because it was last year.

“What we found was there was a lot of people that were asking for return fares to places like Darlington and Middlesbrough, so we need all the cars on that we can.”

The Roker Hotel is one of many that is fully booked with concert-goers.

Manager Tracey Dixon said: “The Take That and Kings of Leon concerts are a fantastic boost for Sunderland. Just like last time, we’ve had unprecedented customer inquiries.

“We’ve been fully booked for the period during the Take That concerts, pretty much since the moment it was announced they would be playing at the Stadium of Light again.”

For details, visit www.safcconcerts.com