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.