Take a selfie in the city at new Instagram picture spot putting the #SUN into Sunderland
Huge letters spelling “#SUN” have been installed in Keel Square as part of a host of activities bringing some colour to the city centre this summer.
Launched by characters from the current Enchanted Garden Trail running in the city, the letters are aimed at being a focal point and people are encouraged to snap pictures with them to share across social media.
Sharon Appleby, chief executive at Sunderland BID, said the BID team were delighted to be back staging events to attract people into the city now that restrictions have eased.
"There’s cities across the world with signs like this and we’d been looking for something similar for ages, then we came up with this set and it really worked,” she explained.
"As soon as the letters were put in place they started getting attention and people have already been taking pictures, which is fantastic.”
The letters have changeable fascias which will be themed around different events in the city such as Halloween and Christmas.
In keeping with this summer’s garden theme, the letters will be joined by a pop up garden from Monday, complete with a giant deckchair and melting ice cream structure.
Other attractions running throughout the summer include an interactive Enchanted Garden trail on the Sunderland Experience App, as well as real life street performers popping up around the city centre from noon until 3pm every day until September 5.
Visitors to the Bridges can also take part in an augmented reality Dino Trail to find the hidden virtual dinosaurs and receive a free gift. There’s also a special birthday trail running at the Museum & Winter Gardens to mark its 20th anniversary.
Sharon said that, as restrictions have lifted, it’s been great to see city centre footfall picking up.
"Slowly, but surely, people’s confidence is returning,” she said. “With the school holidays and staycations we’re noticing more and more people coming into the city and there’s lots of reasons to visit.
“For the performers too, it’s great for them to be able to work after a really difficult time.”