Young people would benefit from Sunderland being named UK City of Culture 2021

Fiona Simpson believes the next generation have most to gain from a successful Sunderland bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

She is the founder and managing director of arts business ARTventurers, and lives in Seaburn.

Today, with 17 days to go until the UK City of Culture final bid has to be submitted, she explains why she has become a culture champion.

Fiona believes a successful bid would transform the city and would be hugely beneficial for young families and the next generation.

“I think we live in an amazing city which has loads of hidden gems, and a successful bid would be an amazing opportunity to showcase these great places.

“To win the bid would be brilliant for our city, and I’d especially want to see far more activities and events for young families, which I’m sure would happen.

“Working in an arts business, I’m a big believer in all the great benefits that creative activities have for young people – things like building confidence and improving self-esteem, and also helping with their co-ordination.”

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.