Sunderland's campaign to secure City of Culture status in 2021 has won the backing of the Dean of Durham and Durham Cathedral.
Sunderland first announced its intentions in becoming the UK City of Culture in September 2015 and is in the process of developing a bid that could see the area host a year-long cultural celebration.
The team behind the campaign has since secured support throughout the region, as well as further afield, winning the backing of the House of Commons during an event last month.
Now, The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, the Dean of Durham, has added his support as Durham Cathedral continues to cultivate its links with Sunderland through the legacy of the Venerable Bede.
He said: "Sunderland is a remarkable city and is working hard to prove that it is worthy of the title, City of Culture 2021.
"There would be a really positive impact on the whole region if a city in the north east was acknowledged in this way for its culture and vibrancy.
"Durham Cathedral is honoured to be the final resting place of the Venerable Bede and partly because of this we have always had close ties with Sunderland.
"Durham Cathedral is proud to support Sunderland’s bid for the City of Culture 2021."
Bede was born in Sunderland in the Seventh century and his tomb is housed in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral.
After joining the monastery at Jarrow, Bede became an acclaimed scholar and his works are still studied today.
Due to Bede’s influence and reputation this corner of England became a beacon of learning and culture and was known throughout the Christian west.
Sunderland hopes to maintain the saint’s legacy first started over a thousand years ago by being named the City of Culture 2021.
The Venerable Bede’s monastery at Jarrow was founded by St Benedict Biscop.
Last month on St Benedict’s feast day the Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett addressed the congregation at St Peter’s in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland.
In his address, he emphasised St Benedict’s connections to the continent and his frequent pilgrimages to Rome.
This saint exerted his influence not only over the culture of the north east of England but across Europe and he said Sunderland’s bid team are hoping to emulate his success.
The deadline for City of Culture applications is in April and Sunderland will find out soon after whether it has made it through the first round of the competition.
To find out more about the bid and what it could mean for Sunderland, visit www.sunderland2021.co.uk, and take part in the conversation on social media by
including #sunderland2021 in your posts.
How to back Sunderland’s 2021 Bid:
• Stay in touch – subscribe to the newsletter, follow Sunderland 2021 on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, and tag @Sunderland2021 in your posts
• Spread the brand - Download the Sunderland 2021 brand pack and use these logos, twibbon, posters and other materials to celebrate Sunderland’s City of Culture Bid
• Spread the word - tell your friends, family and colleagues about the bid and what it means for the city. Our fact sheet online has lots of details of how we’d benefit from winning City of Culture.