Unlock the City: Northern Powerhouse Minister backs boost for city's creative industries

A Government minister has thrown his support behind a scheme aimed at boosting Sunderland’s creative industries.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 11:45 am
From L-R, standing: Paul McEldon (BIC), Trina Murphy (City Council), Jenny Lang (Digital Catapult), Laura Brewis (Sunderland Culture), Michal Chantkowski (BAME), Penny Day (Digital Catapult), Katie Mitchell (Sunderland Culture), Victoria Moodie (BIC)

Unlock the City will see a raft of workshops, residential programmes, mentoring and one-to-one sessions aimed at nurturing and inspiring creative professionals.

The project is led by Sunderland Culture, working in partnership with the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), Digital Catapult North East, and Sunderland BME Network to foster a more diverse, sustainable and profitable creative sector in the city.

The 18-month programme is funded by a Coastal Communities Fund grant of £325,000, part of a wider £820,000 investment in the city which will also see a redevelopment of Sunderland’s seafront.

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Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP backed investment.

He said: “This Government is committed to levelling up opportunities for people across the Northern Powerhouse and along the Great British Coast.

“That’s why we are backing Sunderland with a total of £3.36 million from our Coastal Communities Fund.

“The creative industries are at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse economy and this latest £325,000 investment will help people develop the skills they need to get jobs and grow this important sector in the city.”

Digital Catapult will deliver residentials, the BIC will offer business skills development sessions and Sunderland BME network will give tailored mentoring and events.

Keith Merrin, chief executive of Sunderland Culture, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the North East BIC, Digital Catapult North East, and Sunderland BME Network to pool our expertise and resources to help support our creative industries.”