NEWS: Sunderland City of Culture Bid | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you’ll know of Sunderland’s bid for City of Culture status in 2021. Having got through the first stage, the next part of the competition will see Sunderland pitched against Coventry, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Swansea to win the coveted title and a not-to-be-sniffed-at £3m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

With investment into the cultural sector already stepping up – the refurbishment of the city’s fire station into a multi-purpose arts space, due to reopen in November, has been particularly anticipated – and with thriving and diverse independent businesses keeping the arts scene vibrant, the Sunderland 2021 team are optimistic about their chances. “I suppose I’m a bit of a ‘glass half full’ kind of person. I don’t believe in bemoaning a place – I believe in making it better.” Says team member Hannah Matterson. “Sunderland 2021 is trying to bring about positive change and capitalise on the sense of momentum that is already building here thanks to major investment. City of Culture is for everyone in Sunderland. This is not just about creative people, it’s about all corners of the community, securing a year-long programme that will absolutely transform this city, addressing its challenges as well as helping it to unlock opportunities. The Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) will need to sense enthusiasm and excitement across the whole region and that’s our ask of everyone. Get behind us, and let’s do this for the North East.”

The overall winner of the national competition will be announced in December.

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