09 April 2024

BUSINESSES across Sunderland which are not part of the business improvement district can now get access to a whole range of benefits, thanks to the launch of an affiliate scheme.

At present only levy payers have access to the full range of services and advantages which come from being part of the BID, although businesses across the city which don’t fall into that category have still been able to participate in citywide events and initiatives.

With the launch of the new scheme, those who sign up will be able to take part in networking opportunities in unique settings, get volunteering opportunities for staff and can express their opinions on decisions which will help shape the future of the city.

Affiliate members will get invited to a range of events, training sessions and business seminars as well as being able to participate in relevant public relations activities.

A number of leading companies have already signed up including SSE Energy Solutions, Building Design North, MMC Research and Marketing and Penshaw View Training.

Phillipa Breckon, Director at Penshaw View, said she didn’t hesitate to sign up.

“We previously used to be based within the city centre and paid the levy for Sunderland BID,” she said.

“We really valued the support, promotion and business opportunities the BID brought to the table.

“Since moving out of the city centre and no longer being a BID levy payer, we were approached about supporting the BID as an affiliate member.

“We are proud to be Sunderland BID’s first affiliate member and excited about the opportunities our partnership will bring to help create a vibrant city and more opportunities for everyone.”

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, believes that the new scheme will really benefit anyone who decides to take part.

“The events and activities we carry out in the city centre already benefits many more people than just the levy payers,” she said.

“Events like restaurant week are open to everyone and all businesses enjoy the results of our clean up campaigns and our efforts to make the city tidy and welcoming.

“By signing up to be part of the affiliate scheme it means they get access to even more of the services that the BID offers, which they may not even be aware of.

“It’s a great opportunity to get their voice heard and to really play an active role in the future of the city.”

“There are so many opportunities which will be open to affiliates,” said Sharon.

“And we can also help create bespoke packages to help any business which has particular priorities, from meeting their CSR commitments to just wanting to raise awareness of their brand.

“We are really looking forward to talk to other businesses and showing them the benefits of being a BID affiliate.”

For further information email [email protected] or call 0191 722 1002