These are the men charged with overseeing improvements to Sunderland city centre

The new Sunderland Improvement District board.
The new Sunderland Improvement District board.
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THESE are the faces who will guide Sunderland’s new Business Improvement District (BID).

Eighteen board directors have been appointed to oversee the £3.4million to be invested in the BID area over the next five years.

Bridges boss Andy Bradley, who will chair the board, said: “I’m delighted we have been able to attract these talented, dedicated individuals.

“They will bring the key skills and experience needed to meet the challenges ahead, and I am confident we will make significant progress to our common goal – to develop a vibrant city centre which will mark out Sunderland as a great place to live, work and visit for people of all ages and interests.”

The majority of directors are drawn from BID levy payers, including retailers Harry Collinson (Collinsons Jewellers), Raymond Reynolds (Greggs), and Stephen Snowball (Argos).

Restaurateur Ian Wong (Asiana Fusion), John Craggs (Gentoo Group), Magnus Wilson (Divine Time (North East) Limited), consultant Ammar Mirza (The Point) and David Place (Mortons Solicitors) also become directors. The voluntary sector is represented by Alan Patchett of Age UK Sunderland and there will also be two directors from Sunderland City Council, Coun Mel Speding and Coun Henry Trueman, while Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, of Northumbria Police, will join the Board as an observer. The three directors of Sunderland Business Ltd, the originator of the BID plan, – University vice-chancellor Peter Fidler, SAFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson and John Mowbray OBE – become directors, alongside BID chief executive Ken Dunbar.