Why more giant digital media screens set to be installed across Sunderland

Plans are in place to look at providing more large digital media advertising screens in Sunderland to help promote events and share key public messages.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:16 pm

Sunderland City Council Cabinet this week approved the procurement of a concession contract for providing the large screens across the area.

This will involve the funding, purchase, installation, maintenance, and management of advertising, for the technology across the city.

The recommendations also include authorising council chiefs to take all necessary steps to enter into a concession contract with the successful operator for five years.

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More screens similar to that on St Mary's Car Park are set to be installed across Sunderland.

City Council Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Paul Stewart, noted the local authority already shares in the ownership of an existing screen attached to St Mary’s Car Park.

He added more large digital media advertising (LDMA) screens would provide numerous benefits to the region, and the council financially.

Cllr Stewart said: “Investment in LDMA screens will provide a valuable communication channel for the council and potentially other partners to be able to share important messages with residents and visitors to Sunderland.

“More generally, they will create a notable welcome to Sunderland at key points geographically, signifying the council and its partners’ joint vision for a dynamic and vibrant place.

“In addition the council will also receive a revenue income stream from the net advertising income generated by the LDMA screen.”

Examples of when the boards would be used include for “major events or where more urgent public health or public safety lines need to be communicated”.

A cabinet report added the success of the existing screen has been “significant” and having more in the city will extend these benefits.

Cllr Louise Farthing, cabinet member for Children, Learning and Skills, added she believes the screens will be an attractive proposition for advertisers.

She said: “I do welcome it, and I have myself noticed quite frequently the screen on the side of St Mary’s Car Park, you do notice it.

“I’m sure the advertisers will want to be on those types of electronic billboards across the city, and I do welcome that income stream that they will generate.”

Under the proposed model, the council will work with the successful tenderer to identify viable advertising sites and opportunities.

They will then co-invest in the initial purchase and setup costs for the screen at each selected site, and receive a share of all advertising revenue generated by the successful contractor.

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