Sunderland Echo - - Front Page -

Car gi­ant Nis­san is hop­ing to add ex­tra drive to Sun­der­land’s 2021 City of Cul­ture Bid as the com­pe­ti­tion reaches a piv­otal stage.

The man­u­fac­tur­ing pow­er­house has thrown its weight be­hind the bid as the bid team pre­pares to fi­nalise its sub­mis­sion, hav­ing made the short­list last month.

The com­pe­ti­tion could see Sun­der­land host a spec­tac­u­lar na­tional cul­tural festival in 2021, if it is able to con­vince judges that it is a de­serv­ing win­ner, when bids go in at the end of next month.

Nis­san, which em­ploys 7,000 peo­ple on Wear­side, has now added its name to a list of cor­po­rate sup­port­ers of the bid.

Kevin Fitz­patrick, divi­sional vice-pres­i­dent at Nis­san Sun­der­land Plant, said: “We are de­lighted to back Sun­der­land’s bid to be­come UK City of Cul­ture 2021.

“It would be great to see a city that gives so much to the world get the recog­ni­tion it richly de­serves.”

Other big busi­nesses pledg­ing their sup­port include Stage­coach, Grand Cen­tral, Nexus and Siglion.

Re­becca Ball, di­rec­tor of Sun­der­land 2021, said: “It’s ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic to have Nis­san pledge its sup­port to our City of Cul­ture Bid, and is a huge state­ment of just how im­por­tant this bid is, not only to Sun­der­land, but the whole of the North East.”

Coun­cil­lor Paul Wat­son, leader of Sun­der­land City Coun­cil, said: “How fan­tas­tic to see Nis­san – a huge em­ployer in the city – ap­pre­ci­at­ing the ben­e­fits City of Cul­ture sta­tus would bring to the whole re­gion and get­ting be­hind the team at Sun­der­land 2021.”

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