Sunderland is pushing the button this morning on a bid leaders say could worth millions to the region and put the eyes of the world on our city.
Sunderland 2021 will formally submit the first stage of its UK City of Culture Bid, with senior figures gathering in Keel Square to mark the occasion.
Judges from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).will then whittle the eleven bidding towns and cities to a shortlist of four.
Sunderland’s bid, which is expected to attract investment to the whole of the North East, faces competition from Coventry, Hereford, Paisley, Perth, Portsmouth, St Davids, Stoke, Swansea, Warrington and Wells.
The bid team says winning City of Culture status could do wonders for Sunderland’s economy, delivering a multi-million-pound boost for the successful city.
It is estimated that this year’s City of Culture, Hull, will see an extra £60million coming to its economy by the end of 2017. The city has already seen a £1billion boost in investment since being announced as the winner of the title in 2013.