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Traders in Sunderland have revealed plans to make the city centre more appealing for visitors.
The traders are proposing an additional tax on businesses to pay for improvement to be made, and local traders will have to vote in favour of the measure for it be brought to fruition.
A similar scheme has already been successful in another of the region's cities - Newcastle.
You can watch the full report from our Business Correspondent Ben Chapman below.
Traders I've spoken to in Sunderland are supportive of plans to create a 'business improvement district' similar to Newcastle's. But many still question whether it will work.
Newcastle has restaurants and bars that attract people into the city in the evening.
Sunderland wants to do the same.
But you need the businesses to open late to attract visitors, and you need visitors to persuade them to do that.
One trader told me it's a 'chicken and egg' problem that will be hard to solve.
He says he fears the city is not cosmopolitan enough to compete with Newcastle.
The priorities for the Sunderland BID (Business Improvement District) are:
A cleaner, greener and safer City Centre
A busier City Centre, with increased footfall
A more vibrant evening economy, attracting more people between 5 - 10pm
More marketing and promotions
Events, festivals and celebrations
Better signage, access and information for visitors
A leadership voice for City Centre businesses
Proposals to create a Business Improvement District in Sunderland city centre have been welcomed by some local traders.
Harry Collinson, owner of Collinsons Jewellers, is also Chairman of the Sunderland City Centre Traders Association (SCCTA) and is a supporter of the BID. He said,
Plans to improve Sunderland City Centre are to be unveiled by business leaders. They want to create a Business Improvement District where local traders would work together to attract more visitors.