So far, so good, but there’s more to do – that’s the message as Sunderland’s Business Improvement District (Bid) celebrates its first year.
In the last 12 months, the organisation has led and supported a wide range of initiatives designed to increase footfall and boost business in the city centre, including music festivals such as Live and Loud, Sanctuary and the African Festival at the Minister, as well as a successful Christmas programme.
We’ve already hit the ground running and have no intention of slowing down, with a lot of exciting things already in the pipeline for the weeks, months and even years ahead.Ken Dunbar
Chairman John Craggs said co-operation between public and private sectors was key: “It is clear the Bid is working very hard to deliver projects that will make a positive difference for Sunderland in both the short and longer term.
“There is still much to do and, given the size of the team, the Bid’s plans can only be delivered by working in close partnership with businesses and other bodies such as the council.”
One of the Bid’s biggest successes has been the drive to boost the city’s evening economy by introducing free parking and late night shopping, with more than 55 stores around the city centre now staying open until 8pm every Thursday.
“From staging the first ever African Festival to being named Britain in Bloom’s Best City and launching VIBE magazine, which now reaches more than 470,000 homes and businesses across Sunderland, the past 12 months have shown just what can be achieved when we work together,” said chief executive Ken Dunbar.
“We’ve already hit the ground running and have no intention of slowing down, with a lot of exciting things already in the pipeline for the weeks, months and even years ahead.”