Community champion Rashidi Bakaya believes being named UK City of Culture 2021 would kick-start the regeneration of Sunderland.
Rashidi, from Young Asian Voices, believes a successful bid will have a huge impact on the city.
He is one of the 21 community champions chosen to spearhead Sunderland's bid.
“City of Culture 2021 will have a massive impact," he said. "It will create a lot of opportunities and it will bring work.
“It will also emphasise the life of our community here in Sunderland.
"Should the city win this bid, it will really be a starting point for the regeneration of Sunderland.
"It’s quite exciting and it will change a lot in Sunderland.”
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 this Friday, September 29, and the successful city will be announced in Hull, the current UK City of Culture, in December.