The fi­nal push as Wear­side pre­pares for City of Cul­ture an­nounce­ment

Sunderland Echo - - Front page - By Katy Wheeler [email protected] Twit­ter: @katyjourno

Tonight’s the night Sun­der­land hopes to be crowned UK City of Cul­ture 2021.

The team be­hind the city’s bid were this morn­ing mak­ing their fi­nal pre­sen­ta­tion to judges, hop­ing to con­vince them to award Sun­der­land the cov­eted prize ahead of ri­vals Coventry, Pais­ley, Stoke and Swansea.

And tonight they will see if all their hard work has paid off when the re­sult is an­nounced on BBC’s The One Show in a live broad­cast from Hull, the cur­rent holder of the ti­tle.

Those in­volved with the bid say they are ner­vous with an­tic­i­pa­tion but in­sist, what­ever the re­sult, Sun­der­land will still con­tinue to be a cul­tural city.

Re­becca Ball, bid di­rec­tor, said: “We’re ex­cited and ner­vous about tonight’s an­nounce­ment, but we’re also very proud of our bid. Hun­dreds of peo­ple fed into it, and thou­sands upon thou­sands of peo­ple have sup­ported it. The bid doc­u­ment sub­mit­ted in late Septem­ber was strong, am­bi­tious and de­liv­er­able. We then hosted a suc­cess­ful visit to the city by four of the judges in early Novem­ber, and the last stage was this morn­ing’s pre­sen­ta­tion.

“On be­half of the bid team I’d like to thank each and ev­ery com­pany, or­gan­i­sa­tion and in­di­vid­ual who has sup­ported us – the back­ing we’ve had has been so pas­sion­ate and some­times so over­whelm­ing it has been a hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence. I’d also like to thank the Bid Steer­ing Group, who have of­fered sage ad­vice and again been very sup­port­ive. “Win or lose tonight, the mo­men­tum built be­hind our bid to be­come City of Cul­ture will not be lost.”

The cul­tural fate of the city lies in the hands of the panel of judges put to­gether by The Depart­ment for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Me­dia & Sport (DCMS).

Arts and Cul­ture Min­is­ter John Glen is due to an­nounce the win­ner be­tween 7pm and 7.30pm.

Should Sun­der­land win, the city would host a year of events in 2021 which would plough mil­lions into the econ­omy and bring thou­sands of vis­i­tors to Wear­side.

New ad­di­tions to the city, in­clud­ing The Fire Sta­tion arts hub, have been partly in­spired by the bid and would host events if we scoop the cov­eted ti­tle, which is awarded ev­ery four years.

The bid has been backed by a host of or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing the Echo.

Log on to www.sun­der­lan­de­cho.com tonight for cov­er­age of the an­nounce­ment. We’ll have teams in Hull and Sun­der­land bring­ing you all the re­ac­tion.

“We’re ner­vous, but also very proud of our bid” RE­BECCA BALL

Pais­ley Sun­der­land Stoke Coventry Swansea

Bid Di­rec­tor Re­becca Ball.

Sun­der­land 2021 sup­port­ers will ner­vously await tonight’s an­nounce­ment.

Re­becca Ball with the bid doc­u­ment.

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