Sharon is Bidding to improve Sunderland city centre

The woman who helped to transform the former Sunderland Housing Group is hoping to do the same for the city's Business Improvement District (Bid).

Tuesday, 2nd May 2017, 10:46 am
Updated Sunday, 7th May 2017, 8:53 pm
Sharon Appleby

Sharon Appleby, 47, has taken up the new role as Head of Business Operations after 14 years as the Head of Marketing and Communications at Gentoo Group, where she oversaw the rebranding the former housing group.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the BID team at this point in its development,” said Sharon.

“This is a very exciting time for Sunderland and with so many great things on the horizon, the opportunities for the Bid to be involved in are endless.

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“My energy and passion for everything that I do will help us to move forward at a pace and at the same time I will be working closely with the team to continue delivering the best possible service and support to businesses within the Bid area.

“I’m looking forward to meeting more and more of our customers and working with them. I’m also looking forward to getting stuck into promoting what the city has to offer and what fantastic things people can experience when they are here.”

Sunderland Bid was set up in 2014 with a remit to ensure that the city centre is a vibrant place to live, work, set up business and spend leisure time. Since that time the organisation has led on a number of major events in the city and has supported many others, including two highly successful Sunderland Restaurant Weeks, an outdoor Fanzone to watch sporting events and the annual Christmas programme in the city centre.

The BID has also driven a number of unique initiatives such as the first ParkingPerx scheme in the country and has also offered businesses a range of money saving opportunities including saving on energy costs through the Power Partnership scheme.

Bid chief executive Ken Dunbar was made redundant in December.

Bid Board member John Seager is chief executive of Siglion, the developer responsible for the former Vaux brewery site: “Sharon’s knowledge of Sunderland, her experience and her passion for the city made her the perfect choice for the new role of Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID,” he said.

“We have an exciting future ahead and with a new direction and lots of continued hard work, we are confident we can build on the foundations that are already in place.”