Community champion Kate Monehen believes Sunderland's rich heritage could be the key to it being named UK City of Culture 2021.
The 36-year-old, who lives in Roker, is the electoral services lead officer for Sunderland City Council, where she has worked for nearly 20 years.
She is passionate about Sunderland and believes if it wins the bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, plenty of new opportunities will be available to the city.
That's why she agreed to become one of the 21 community champions who are backing the bid.
“I love this city and have a massive passion for it," she said. "I love the coastline and the heritage that we have.
“We’ve done so much regeneration over the last few years, and I think winning the City of Culture bid would help move this city forward.
“I think the 2021 bid will be fantastic for Sunderland.
"I think we should win because we’ve got a lot of great heritage and a lot of great cultural assets already, and winning would bring a lot more opportunity to the city.
“We should be so proud of the heritage we have, and the fact that we are putting ourselves on the cultural map is something which should be applauded.
"The plans for the city centre and the Seaburn/Roker area really go to show that we want to achieve – and it’s obvious we can when you look how far we’ve come already.”
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.