Sunderland city centre needs you - calls for public's help in preparing for end of coronavirus lockdown

Sunderland businesses are being urged to back a drive to get the city centre ready for business post-lockdown.
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Sunderland BID is setting up a city centre recovery task force to spearhead preparations for when lockdown regulations are lifted.

With news that the Government is set to unveil its plan on how it intends to get the country moving again this weekend, the BID is now planning to create a steering board and a number of expert groups, which can come together to build a plan for the city centre.

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The task force will be using the Covid-19 recovery framework created by the Institute of Place Management (IPM) as its model, which the IPM has formed based on its years of experience and expertise in working with town and city centres, BIDs and local authorities to drive recovery and improvements.

Sunderland city centre has been quiet since the coronavirus lockdown was implemented on Monday, March 23.Sunderland city centre has been quiet since the coronavirus lockdown was implemented on Monday, March 23.
Sunderland city centre has been quiet since the coronavirus lockdown was implemented on Monday, March 23.
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And now the BID is looking for city centre businesses to join Sunderland City Council and other key stakeholders and become part of the recovery task force, to help create a blueprint for the future.

“It is vital for us to start looking at how we are going to operate across all sectors going forward,” said head of business operations Sharon Appleby.

“Which is why we want to bring as many people as possible together who can have some input into helping create a practical and sustainable plan which looks at every aspect of the city centre economy.”

Sharon Appleby.Sharon Appleby.
Sharon Appleby.
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The aim is to initially set up a steering board which will develop a strategy and then a range of different groups will be set up to look at the needs of specific areas such as retail, leisure, hospitality and access to businesses which operate in these areas.

A further group will look at public spaces and the safety aspects, ensuring that all the rules on social distancing are still observed.

Ms Appleby added: “This is a very important plan for the city and I am hoping that we can get businesses, individuals and organisations on board to support it and give us their input.”

Anyone wanting to be involved can contact [email protected] or call 07740 175230.

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