The Sainsbury’s store on Station Road in Fulwell closed its doors to shoppers in October last year – with no confirmed plans for the site that now stands empty.
Tony has expressed his surprise at the support that the petition has received from the local community who used the former supermarket.
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He commented: “It all started off with putting leaflets and posters around local cafes, hairdressers and other traders – I think the willingness to support it took be back a bit.
"I can’t thank Fulwell Community Library enough for their help as that is where the paper petition has been housed and then once word got round, the online petition just boomed.
"We’ve been going round the streets with leaflets and I’d say that 95% of the people who we speak too are in favour of showing support for it to remain as a shopping site.”
Tony doesn’t only want to bring awareness to the campaign, he also wants to keep everyone who has shown support for it so far updated on the progress of the site.
He added: “We’ve found that there are a lot of rumours going round about what the site could be but there is no concrete news yet.
"I want to keep the promise that I’ve made to everyone that I will keep them all informed when we have more information.”
Tony presented the petition to Cllr Josh McKeith on Friday, January 21, who was to raise it at the full Sunderland City Council meeting on Wednesday, January 26.
Sunderland City Council's Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Paul Stewart, has previously said that the site is marked for retail use and that any future plans for the store will be subject to a public consultation period.
Despite the paper petition being presented to the council, the online petition will remain to continue gathering support – you can view it by clicking here.