More support for Sunderland 2021 bid

Peter Lathan

Four universities have added their support for Sunderland’s bid to be the UK City of Culture 2021. The four are Cumbria, Durham, Northumbria and Teesside.

On receiving the news, Rebecca Ball, Sunderland City of Culture Bid Director, said, “we are delighted to receive the support of so many regional universities, all of whom understand the huge benefits a successful bid would bring to the region, and particularly to our young people.”

“Sunderland being UK City of Culture 2021 would provide a unique opportunity to celebrate its proud industrial and social heritage and its vibrant and exciting future, based on innovation, creativity and academic enquiry,” said Professor Stuart Corbridge. Vice Chancellor and Warden of Durham University.

“It would bring wonderful benefits not only to the city, but also to the wider North East of England. It would allow us as a region to further enhance our position as a hub of arts, heritage and culture, secure extra investment and attract more visitors and jobs, in the countdown to 2021, during the year and in the future.”

“We recognise the value that the City of Culture award would bring to Sunderland as a city, and the North East as a region, in attracting investment, tourism and boosting the local economy,” added Northumbria University Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Prof Andrew Wathey OBE.

“We are delighted to support Sunderland’s bid for the UK City of Culture in 2021. We are proud of the region’s rich industrial and cultural heritage and celebrate Sunderland’s contribution to the North East’s reputation for great art, culture and design.”

Prof Paul Croney, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University, offered his university’s support, saying it was clear from previous winners that there would be benefits for the city and region.

“Sunderland’s success would be hugely beneficial for the whole of the North East, providing opportunities to showcase our current achievements and driving innovation and growth.

“As can be evidenced from previous holders of this title, increased visitor numbers to the region would put us in the worldwide spotlight, attracting more investment, creating more jobs and increasing the opportunities for funding world-leading research in our universities. All of this can only be good news for the recruitment of students to our region who see the future prospects this regeneration would bring.”

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria in Carlisle, Prof Julie Mennell, said, “we can see the clear benefits to students and residents who would be given the opportunity to study in the UK’s City of Culture in 2021. The University of Sunderland is at the heart of the City and the North East region’s economic prosperity and cultural offer.”

The City of Culture winner will be announced in Hull, the holder of the City of Culture 2017 title, next month.