Even the big man himself is backing Sunderland’s bid to become City of Culture 2021.
Santa, who has taken his place along with Mrs Claus and a number of elves in the Bridges shopping centre for the duration of the festive season, has added his name to a growing list of high profile people who are getting behind the bid, which could see Sunderland land the prestigious title that will attract significant investment to the city.
The jolly public figure, who hails from the North Pole, has thrown his considerable weight behind the campaign, and hopes Sunderland can seal the deal when judges chose the winner at the end of next year.
“Sunderland is a special place, and somewhere I always look forward to visiting when I am doing the rounds on Christmas Eve. I even wear red and white in honour of my love for the place,” he said.
“If everyone in Sunderland wishes with all their might for Sunderland to win the City of Culture title, then there is no reason why it can’t happen. I for one will be adding my name to the list of supporters and I will be watching on with interest from my workshop in the North Pole when the judges make their decision as to who is shortlisted in the spring, and of course, who wins in the autumn.”
Other high profile supporters include Melanie Hill, George Clarke and Lauren Laverne.
Sunderland’s bid director Rebecca Ball said: “It’s fantastic to have the backing of Mr Claus. Naturally, we think that Sunderland deserves this title, but to have the support of someone as well travelled and as learned as Santa really does prove just how special Sunderland is.”