Sunderland flies the flag for City of Culture bid
Sunderland is flying the flag in its bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.
The first of ten flags were raised in preparation for the formal submission of the bid, which takes place on Friday.
Mayor of Sunderland Doris Macknight, the City Council’s Deputy Leader Coun Harry Trueman and Culture Portfolio Holder John Kelly, all saw the flag go up outside the Civic Centre as the city enters the next stage for the bid.
Coun Macknight said: “It’s very important that the first flag is raised in such a central and beautiful place, opposite the Jack Crawford statue.”
Jack Crawford, one of Sunderland’s most famous sons, became a hero for ‘nailing the colours’ to the mast of his ship at the Battle of Camperdon in 1797.
Coun Macknight added: “We know we have a strong bid and that’s why we’re in the final round. Just like Jack Crawford we’ve raised the flag and this is another marker for why we’re a strong contender.”
Sunderland’s final second stage bid is set to be officially lodged with the Government at the end of this week.
City Council and Culture Portfolio Holder John Kelly said: “This is a vital part of going forward to mark the submission and pushing the city forward, by giving it a transformative impression of the culture and heritage. This bid is also about looking to the future as our city’s economic and cultural regeneration.”
“I’m very confident about the bid. It’s a city on the brink and if we get the support from the Parliament I am sure we will get the bid.”
The title is awarded every four years and the winner for 2021 will be the third UK City.
Culture Bid Director Rebecca Ball joined the flag raising and said: “It’s so inspiring to see our bid flags flying over the city.
“They are a reminder of what a transformational effect a successful bid would have on the city, and also an acknowledgement of the cultural and historical connection Sunderland has with flags. It’s a momentous moment celebrating the bid and a brilliant opportunity for the people of the city, bringing people from all different backgrounds, jobs, parts of the city, to share and celebrate all of the things they are proud of.
“We’d like anyone who can to Tweet Ha’way #Sunderland2021 #UKCityofCulture2021 @DCMS and post a picture of Sunderland or themselves.”