Big first year for the BID

22 July 2015

An organisation, set up to make Sunderland a safer and more vibrant city, is celebrating a successful first year in operation. Over the past 12 months Sunderland BID has led, and supported, a wide range of initiatives designed to increase footfall and boost business across the city centre. This has included a series of music festivals, such as Live and Loud and Sanctuary at the Minister, as well as a successful Christmas in Sunderland programme, which attracted more than 40,000 visitors combined.

It has also introduced talking cameras, developed new area forums and established an Operations BID Action Team, which have all contributed to a reported reduction in crime figures around the city centre.

Among Sunderland BID’s biggest successes to date, though, has been the drive to boost the city’s evening economy by introducing free parking and late night shopping, with more than 55 stores around the city centre now staying open until 8pm every Thursday. 

Speaking at Sunderland BID’s first AGM, Chair, John Craggs, said:  “It is clear that the BID is working very hard to deliver projects that will make a positive difference for Sunderland in both the short and longer term. “There is still much to do and, given the size of the team, the BID’s plans can only be delivered by working in close partnership with businesses and other bodies such as the Council. That requires everybody to commit to working collaboratively and it is beholden on all of us to ensure that happens.”

Sunderland BID, which is funded by levy paying businesses within the city centre, has already made great strides towards its objectives of “putting Sunderland on the map,” making it a “city to be proud of” and establishing a “strong business voice” within the area – and the organisation has big plans for the future.

“From being named Britain in Bloom’s Best City to the launch of VIBE magazine, which now reaches more than 125,000 homes and businesses across Sunderland, the past 12 months have shown just what can be achieved when we work together,” said Chief Executive, Ken Dunbar.

“We’ve already hit the ground running and have no intention of slowing down, with a lot of exciting things already in the pipeline for the weeks, months and even years ahead.”

For more information about Sunderland BID, including details on forthcoming events and how to get involved, visit