Sunderland Live announces new chief executive appointment

Alison McDonough.

Alison McDonough.

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A new chief executive has been chosen to head up Sunderland Live.

Alison McDonough has been appointed to the role, it has been announced today.

Sunderland Live was formed in April 2013, and will be continuing its work with strategic partners to strengthen Sunderland as a Destination City, with Alison at the helm.

She has already had a great impact on the team, which currently delivers the citywide programme that are helping to establish Sunderland as a leading events city, the agency has said.

Andrea Winders, executive director of Sunderland City Council, continued: “Alison has a great track record of events management, and has experience of being involved with some very high profile events.

"This, combined with her deep industry knowledge and exceptional management skills, makes Alison uniquely qualified to lead Sunderland Live successfully into the future.”

Speaking on her appointment, Alison said: “I am delighted to be part of a dynamic team of event entrepreneurs, delivering live events like Sunderland International Airshow, Sunderland Illuminations, community engagement programmes and – in 2018 - the launch of the Tall Ships event.

“Having a platform as fantastic as Sunderland is a dream come true. I am very proud to say that Sunderland is live.”

Last year, the airshow attracted more than 1 million people to the city, while the illuminations drew in more than 285,000 visitors to Roker Park alone.

Sunderland Live also brings military events, including the Freedom of the City and the Remembrance Parade, to the city centre.

Alison added: “I’d like to offer my thanks to everyone who has been so supportive to the Sunderland Live team. Our annual events programme is currently being finalised and will be published shortly.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this growing cultural scene, and am very excited about the new opportunities that are ahead.”