Sunderland businesses form alliance to boost city centre

Launch of the Sunderland City Traders Association will take place at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens with l-r  Harry Collinson, Graeme Farnworth of Sunderland City Council, Steve Snowball and Kam Chera.
Launch of the Sunderland City Traders Association will take place at the Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens with l-r Harry Collinson, Graeme Farnworth of Sunderland City Council, Steve Snowball and Kam Chera.
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WEARSIDE traders – your city centre needs you.

Sunderland City Centre Traders’ Association (SSCTA) is a new organisation aimed at giving businesses in the heart of Sunderland a voice.

It will be launched under the Wear1City banner with an open meeting at the City Museum and Winter Gardens next Tuesday.

Leighton Group founder Paul Callaghan will talk about what Sunderland means to him, while Sunderland City Council’s Graeme Farnworth will outline progress on regeneration of the city centre.

The SSCTA committee was set up, with the help of Sunderland Council’s Business Investment Team and BSupplied last year.

It now has 15 members representing independent and national retailers, and the service industry. Harry Collinson, of Collinson’s Jewellers, is chairman, with Steve Snowball, of Argos, as his deputy. Secretary is Anthony Reynolds, of Reynolds Outdoor Centre, Sweet Home Alabama’s Martin O’Neill is treasurer.

“We want to give businesses a chance to come along so we can put our heads together, start thinking about the city centre and be positive about it,” said Mr Collinson.

The new group is backed by the city council, but it will be the traders who are in charge.

“If the council can help us, that is great, but we need to stand on our own two feet,” said Harry.

“I hope a lot of the city centre traders will come along and we can be a voice for them.”

Committee member Kam Chera, who owns Amore restaurant in Tavistock Place, believes the new association can play a vital role in providing a link between business and council.

“We are from the grassroots. We understand the traders’ needs and the priorities of members,” he said.

“It is about working with the council to improve things.”

Next Tuesday’s event will start at 5.30pm and anyone wishing to attend should contact Harry at harrycollinson@aol.com or Cheryl.Jones@sunderland.gov.uk.

The association also has its own Twitter feed, @WeAre1City, email address Sccta@gmail.com and website www.wear1city.co.uk

Twitter: @Sunechobiz