Sunderland's culture bid has created wave of excitement
The bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021 has already created a wave of excitement in Sunderland, one of its community champions believes.
Jordan Carling, 23, from Pennywell, is an actor, writer and theatre maker, and he's optimistic about Sunderland’s 2021 bid.
While admitting he was once a sceptic, he has felt a growing sense of excitement throughout the city since the initial bid was made.
“I have found that there is a lot more opportunity and excitement.
“Everyone I know from the cultural sector, from the arts and theatre scene, are behind this 100 per cent and have plans for the future.
"The effects for the city would be amazing.”
Jordan believes the city is already seeing the start of big changes.
He says developments like The Peacock on Keel Square have already brought greater capacity for cultural events and performances which allow people to enjoy art without leaving the city.
Sunderland is up against Coventry, Paisley, Swansea and Stoke as it bids to be named UK City of Culture.
A successful bid would put the city firmly into the cultural spotlight, attracting millions of pounds into the local economy through investment in the arts and an increase in visitors and jobs.
It would kick-start a four-year period of growth, innovation and creativity and culminate in a year of exciting cultural and artistic events.
Final second-round bids must be submitted by September 29, and the successful city will be announced in Hull, the current UK City of Culture, in December.