Right behind our bid to find the very best

Rebecca Ball.
Rebecca Ball.

Sunderland’s search for the best in business has won the support of another great backer.

Sunderland 2021 – the team behind Sunderland’s City of Culture Bid – is backing the Echo’s Creative Industries Portfolio Award.

We back businesses in the city, we want to see them succeed and we will do everything we can to seal this title for Sunderland’s people and its business community – both richly deserve this chance to shine

Rebecca Ball

Team members said they were proud to throw their weight behind an award that celebrates the unique people and businesses that make the city special.

Rebecca Ball, director of Sunderland 2021 – which will submit its bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 in a matter of days - said: “Sunderland is a unique city, with some incredible businesses that make it what it is.

“The Portfolio Awards night is a celebration – a chance to reflect on all that Sunderland’s businesses have achieved throughout the year,

City of Culture could provide a multi-million- pound boost to Sunderland, if it is successful in the competition. And that is something Rebecca believes will be particularly beneficial to businesses of all kinds in Sunderland.

“City of Culture status has provided huge benefits to businesses in the cities that have scooped the title in the past, and Sunderland would be no different.

“It’s easy to imagine the benefits winning this title would bring to the cultural sector in Sunderland, but it will do a huge amount more than just that. We know that in Hull – the current UK City of Culture – businesses of all kinds have seen a surge in interest and income. Whether that is hotels, that have seen a huge increase in room bookings; to bars and restaurants, where visitors are spending their money; to the service sector, that is benefitting from increased confidence among businesses in the area.

“The impact of City of Culture is wide-reaching and significant, and that’s something we are keen to support these awards in order to demonstrate. We back businesses in the city, we want to see them succeed and we will do everything we can to seal this title for Sunderland’s people and its business community – both richly deserve this chance to shine.”

The deadline has now passed for entries to this year’s awards and the judges are drawing up their shortlists.

Then it is on to the grand final at the Stadium of Light, on Thursday, October 26, where the winners will be revealed.

Make it Sunderland is again our headline sponsor, and will sponsor our overall Business of the Year Award, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award, which is in the sponsor’s gift.

Make It Sunderland is also backing the contribution social enterprises make to the city in the Social Enterprise Award. Other sponsors are Northumbrian Water, TTR Barnes, BIC, Sunderland BID, The Bridges, Sunderland College, Wessington Dental, Gentoo, Station Taxis, Creo, The Fans Museum, Stagecoach North East and JB Skills Training.