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Penshaw Monumnet

Seasons Greetings from Sunderland 2021

On behalf of everyone at Sunderland 2021, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From the launch of the UK City of Culture competition in January through to the final interviews in December,  Sunderland’s 2021 bid certainly took over our lives in 2017.

Whilst the announcement on 7th December didn’t go Sunderland’s way, our overriding memories of 2017 will be the colossal amount of energy and passion Sunderland demonstrated in the competition. There were hundreds of brilliant moments. The photos in this blog capture just a few:

Creative superhero Sophie Lisa Beresford in front of Frank Styles’ mural for BBC’s ‘Get Creative Day’

Team 21’s first meeting at Pop Recs

Sunderland College student’s Sunderland 2021 posters displayed in The Bridges

#WelcometoSunderland hashtag goes global

Branded Sun FM, Station Taxis and Pulman cars tour the city

Diwali celebrations at the National Glass Centre

Creative Women’s Collective at ‘All We Are Saying’ at Sunderland Minster

Dave Stewart’s birthday performance at Sunderland Empire

British Library’s Punk Exhibition at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

The Fire Station Arts hub opened with a spectacular performance in November

There was undeniably an extraordinary momentum around culture in Sunderland throughout 2017.  Exhibitions, performances, heritage projects and festivals throughout the city from Washington to Hendon, Fulwell to Ryhope. New investment and partnerships have followed this momentum. Sunderland Culture set up by the University of Sunderland, Sunderland City Council and the Music, Arts, and Culture Trust was awarded Great Place funding and National Portfolio status. Sunderland’s new Heritage Action Zone was established. Work to restore many of our best loved heritage sites continued at Roker Pier, Hylton Castle and Holy Trinity Church. The Fire Station Arts hub opened with a spectacular performance in November.

We are confident that we have even more to look forward to in 2018. A new £400,000 home for the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art opens at the National Glass Centre in early 2018 and of course the amazing Tall Ships Races will come to the city in July.

We are determined to keep the momentum going. Early in the new year we will start to work with partners around the city to develop our plans to sustain what has begun through the competition and ensure a lasting legacy from the bidding process. We are looking forward to working with all of you on this exciting opportunity.  In the meantime, however,  thank you for all your support in 2017 and we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

With best wishes,
Rebecca Ball

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