Alan says Sunderland is already a city of culture

Writer Alan Parkinson is so proud of Sunderland that he's written three novels based in the city.

He thinks it's already a city of culture, but is excited about its prospects of becoming the city of culture.

Alan Parkinson believes Sunderland is already a city of culture.

Alan Parkinson believes Sunderland is already a city of culture.

Today, with 11 days to go until the UK City of Culture bid final bid has to be submitted, he explains why he has become a community champion.

“I think we already are a city of culture," said Alan, who lives in Millfield.

"There’s a lot going on here, but people don’t know about it. If we win the title people across the country would find out what a vibrant place Sunderland is.

“I’d love to be surprised by the programme of events and activities if we win the title.

"Yes, I’d love to see bigger bands and enjoy more music festivals, but when you look at what’s happening in Hull, some of the best things have been huge and unexpected – things that taken people by surprise, that no one would predict would happen.

“I think the legacy of a successful 2021 for Sunderland would be that there was always something happening.

"We’d be known as a city where something cultural was happening every day.

“Of course, as a writer, it might have a positive impact for me personally, but I’m looking at things as a resident.

“I’m delighted to be involved as a community champion and looking forward to spreading the word about the bid.”

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.