03 July 2023

FOODIES from across Sunderland and beyond helped make Sunderland’s Food and Drink Festival a huge success – and brought in a tasty addition to the local economy.

More than 15,000 people visited the three-day event held recently (June  23-25), enjoying live entertainment, activities for children and a huge array of food offerings.

And organisers Sunderland BID, in conjunction with Sunderland City Council, have revealed that estimates so far show that the festival brought a staggering £840,000 in income into the local area.

Markets and food stalls across Market Square, Keel Square and High Street West – which included a number of local heroes – food producers from across the North East – attracted thousands of visitors across the weekend.

Helped by the good weather, people turned out in force to watch the entertainment and eat out at food stalls representing cuisines from across the globe.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said the reaction to the festival had been overwhelmingly positive.

“We have had incredible feedback about the Food and Drink Festival, both from the people who attended and the stallholders and performers who took part, as well as from city centre businesses,” she said.

“The whole of the city centre was busy across the entire weekend, and there was a fantastic atmosphere.

“We are delighted to have been able to deliver an event that has been so enjoyed by everyone, and that has made a substantial and positive impact on the local economy.”

Cllr John Price, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people out enjoying the sunshine and delicious food on offer at Sunderland Food and Drink Festival.

“The festival attracted thousands of visitors and created a buzzing atmosphere across the city centre, and it gave local businesses a real boost. It was just one of the brilliant events on offer in Sunderland this summer, so there is still plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.”

The festival is the first of a whole host of planned activities which will take place in the city across the summer. For further details, visit