Culture champion Aidan Angus believes the region as a whole will benefit if Sunderland is named UK City of Culture 2021.
The 37-year-old is a management consultant and photographer from Fulwell.
He has lived in Australia, the United States and Thailand and thinks this gives him a different perspective on his home city.
Today, with 16 days to go until the UK City of Culture final bid has to be submitted, he explains why he has become a culture champion.
“I’ve seen how the city has changed and progressed in recent years.
“We’ve gone through some hard times, but the city has reinvented itself and I think we now deserve something like the City of Culture title - it would really put us back on the map.
“It would be great for the city, especially the next generation, and if we’re successful I’d love to see events for young families - being the father of three young children.
“If we win, the whole region would benefit. All the surrounding towns and cities would be part of it - theatres, hotels, bars and restaurants would all benefit.
"It would be a really exciting time. The people of the region are intrinsically the same and want the region to do well.”
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.