A city of ‘pas­sion­ate peo­ple’


Sunderland Echo - - News - By Gary Welford gary.welford@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @sun­der­lan­de­cho

Com­mu­nity cham­pion Me­lanie Mc­Don­ald be­lieves Sun­der­land’s pas­sion­ate peo­ple could give it the edge as it bids to be UK City of Cul­ture 2021.

Me­lanie, 63, lives in Wash­ing­ton, but was born and brought up in New Her­ring­ton.

She’s a pas­sion­ate Sun­der­land AFC sup­porter, who works part-time as a con­sul­tant for Edex­cel.

To­day, with 14 days to go un­til the UK City of Cul­ture fi­nal bid has to be sub­mit­ted, she ex­plained why she has be­come a cul­ture cham­pion.

Me­lanie thinks a suc­cess­ful bid would ben­e­fit all of Wear­side and be­yond.

“There’s no doubt that if Sun­der­land was City of Cul­ture, places like Wash­ing­ton, Sea­ham, Eas­ing­ton and places in the old coal­field would all ben­e­fit,” she said.

“We de­serve to win the ti­tle be­cause peo­ple here are so pas­sion­ate, and the ti­tle would have such a dra­matic im­pact here in terms of in­vest­ment.

“As some­one who trav­els round the coun­try, I see things of in­ter­est in other places and think ‘wouldn’t they be great in Sun­der­land?’”

Sun­der­land is up against Coven­try, Pais­ley, Swansea and Stoke as it bids to be named UK City of Cul­ture.

A suc­cess­ful bid would put the city firmly into the cul­tural spot­light, at­tract­ing mil­lions of pounds into the lo­cal econ­omy through in­vest­ment in the arts and an in­crease in vis­i­tors and jobs.

It would kick-start a fouryear pe­riod of growth, in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity and cul­mi­nate in a year of cul­tural and artis­tic events.

Fi­nal sec­ond-round bids must be sub­mit­ted by Septem­ber 29, and the suc­cess­ful city will be an­nounced in Hull, the cur­rent UK City of Cul­ture, in De­cem­ber.

Com­mu­nity cham­pion Me­lanie Mc­Don­ald.

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