THE hard work starts now ...
That was the message from the team behind Sunderland’s new Business Improvement District as they prepare to make the vision a reality.
City businesses voted by a majority of two to one to back the plan.
Over the coming months, the team will formally establish a Bid company and board, put an operational team in place and carry out detailed planning for when the Bid becomes fully operational in April.
Harry Collinson, chairman of Sunderland City Centre Traders’ Association, said the team had an obligation to repay the faith that had been shown by those voting yes.
“It is a credit to them in such tough times that they have given us the credit to move forward,” he said. “They are putting their money where their mouth is and we have got to deliver for them to give them a return on their investment.” The team would be working with everyone in the city centre – including those businesses which abstained or voted against the proposal – to develop a strategy for the city.
“It is important we work with them to make sure they are included,” said Harry.
“We don’t want to be keeping anyone out. It is important we move forward together.
“With the Bid plan coming together, we will be able to do that and have a strategy in place ready for April.”
Gary Hutchinson, chairman of Sunderland Business Group, the organisation behind the plan, vowed to listen to business.
He said: “The Bid plans have always been business-led, and that philosophy will underpin the way the Bid works over the five-year term.
“This is a tremendous outcome for Sunderland. Businesses have backed something that will make a massive difference to our city centre.”