Greeters recruited to welcome gig-goers to Sunderland

WELCOME TO SUNDERLAND: From left to right, Steven Beall (Newcastle Building Society), Cllr John Kelly, Ken Butler (Station Taxis) and John Green (The Bridges), partners in the Sunderland City Greeters scheme.
WELCOME TO SUNDERLAND: From left to right, Steven Beall (Newcastle Building Society), Cllr John Kelly, Ken Butler (Station Taxis) and John Green (The Bridges), partners in the Sunderland City Greeters scheme.
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A FRIENDLY-FACED army of greeters will be on hand to show gig-goers the sights of Sunderland this summer

Following the success of last week’s Coldplay concert where a record 55,000 people flocked to the Stadium of Light, the city is gearing up for two more musical spectaculars.

Music legend Bruce Springsteen arrives on Thursday, June 21, with US rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers rounding off the entertainment on Sunday, June 24.

To help visitors, a team of more than 250 City Greeters has been recruited to make sure visitors get the most from their stay in Sunderland.

The City Greeters will be sporting T-shirts and badges and come armed with information about the events and city attractions.

They will also be dishing out z-cards with details on how to get to the Stadium of Light, transport routes and a map of the city centre.

They will be on hand for advice during the Sunderland Festival, which takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday as part of the Olympic Torch Relay event.

The International Airshow from July 20 to 22, is also on the greeters’ calendar.

Coun John Kelly, portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said: “The aim of the scheme is to make it easier for visitors to Sunderland over the events programme to access visitor information from as many businesses, establishments, outlets and people as possible.

“Posters, window stickers and badges show that the person or business is a member of the scheme, and this will encourage visitors and residents to recognise that they will be able to help them find out how to get around or ask them for advice on attractions they can visit.

“Feedback on last year’s City Greeters scheme was really positive and this year we have recruited another five key partners across the city who are proud to be involved in the scheme.”

Organisations from across the city have joined the council for the Greeters Scheme, including the University of Sunderland, Station Taxis, The Bridges, Sunderland Marriott, National Glass Centre, Newcastle Building Society, Sunderland Empire and Tyne and Wear Museums.

Mike Wallbank, acting chief executive of the University of Sunderland Students’ Union, which is supporting the scheme, said: “This is the second year we’ve been involved as City Greeters. It’s a brilliant idea and worked really well last year.”

Gary Hutchinson, SAFC commercial director of Sunderland Football Club, added: “Last year’s City Greeters scheme was a great success and we are delighted that partner organisations have thrown their weight behind the scheme again this year.

“It is a tremendous example of the partnership working which goes into making these world class concerts a success.”

For information on events taking place across the city, visit: www.sunderlandlive.co.uk.

Twitter: @sunechochief