May was a rocking good month for Sunderland, writes SAFC commercial director

Front man Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters perform at the Stadium of Light.
Front man Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters perform at the Stadium of Light.
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Well...what a month that was.

It’s hard to be believe it has only been a few weeks since my last column, so much has happened in the meantime.

Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director at Sunderland AFC.'

Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director at Sunderland AFC.'

The good news started with confirmation that the city council has put pen to paper on a deal to build the much-anticipated new Wear crossing.

Of course, it is a shame that the planned ‘iconic’ design fell victim to the economic downturn.

But the new look is still a striking piece of architecture which will be a credit to the city and open up a whole stretch of the river for much-needed regeneration and redevelopment.

The new Strategic Transport Corridor will have huge significance for the economy of our city for decades to come and progress is extremely welcome.

More good news followed just a few days later, with the announcement that car parts giant Vantec is to build an another massive warehouse close to Nissan. It will be the largest-ever overseas project for Japanese parent company Vantec Corporation.

The announcement underlines the vital role that the car industry has played in the economic regeneration of Wearside since the loss of our traditional industries and is a massive vote of confidence in the city and the wider North East. The Vantec statement was followed just hours later by another great result for the city – Arsenal 0, Sunderland 0.

A hard-fought draw meant we were able to go into the last day of the season knowing that Premier League status had been secured.

Top flight security is important not just for the club but for the whole of Sunderland, guaranteeing the city a global spotlight in the most-watched football league in the world. And while some Sunderland fans will have been sorry to see Newcastle escape the drop on the last day, there can be no doubt of the huge benefit to the region of having two clubs in the Premier League.

It is only a shame that Middlesbrough were unable to make it three out of three in the Championship play-off final.

The fixtures for 2015-16 will be announced on June 17 and the new season kicks off on August 8, so at least those of you missing your football-fix don’t have too much longer to wait.

We rounded off the season with a visit to Chelsea, then just 24 hours later welcomed one of the biggest bands in the world to Wearside.

The Foo Fighters attracted around 50,000 people to the Stadium of Light and what a fantastic concert it was.

Dave Grohl and the boys performed for a flat-out two-and-a-half hours and held the audience rapt throughout.

I hope city businesses were prepared for the influx of music lovers and the gig has given us a major economic boost.

There were certainly plenty of fans out and about early in the day, making the most of the Bank Holiday opportunity.

The next meeting of the North East Chamber of commerce Sunderland committee will be held in the James Herriott Suite at the Stadium of Light from 4pm on Tuesday, July 14.

I look forward to welcoming you all – and our partners from the chamber’s South Tyneside area committee – then.