Sunderland landmarks to be lit blue, yellow and orange to highlight Living Wage Week
Landmarks all over Sunderland are being lit up this week as part of a drive to see fewer residents earning poverty pay and more money staying in the local economy.
Northern Spire bridge, Keel Square, Fulwell Mill, Seaburn Lighthouse, Hylton Castle and the Beacon of Light are among the landmarks and lighting features lit blue, yellow and orange to mark Living Wage Week.
The week is held annually to celebrate the Real Living Wage movement and raise awareness of the campaign to see more people getting a fair day's pay for a hard day's work.
Sunderland City Council has been paying its employees the Real Living Wage since 2014 and last year extended this commitment to staff working for council contractors as contracts are renewed.
Unlike the National Living Wage, which is the legal minimum set by the Government, the Real Living Wage is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation and based on how much they estimate people need to live on – and is paid voluntarily by almost 7,000 UK employers.
It has just been announced that this is to rise 40p to £9.90 per hour compared to the National Living Wage of £8.72 per hour.
The leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Graeme Miller, said: "For me becoming an accredited Real Living Wage employer was simply the right thing for the council to do.
“Our ultimate ambition is to see Sunderland become a Real Living Wage City by encouraging more employers to come on board and support this goal."