1. ITV Report

Nissan backs Sunderland's City of Culture bid

Nissan is backing Sunderland in the competition Photo: Creo Communications

Nissan is backing Sunderland's Culture Bid as the competition reaches a pivotal stage.

The car manufacturing giant, has thrown its weight behind the bid as the Sunderland 2021 team prepares to finalise its submission, having made the shortlist last month. The competition could see Sunderland host a national cultural festival in 2021.

Nissan has added its name to the list of corporate supporters. The support is a boost for Sunderland 2021, the team behind the city’s bid, who are working to impress the Department for Cultural, Sport and Media (DCMS).

“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.”

– Kevin Fitzpatrick, Divisional Vice President at Nissan Sunderland Plant

"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. We’re thrilled they’ve got behind us.

"A successful bid could be truly transformational for the city and region. It has the potential to bring in many millions of pounds of investment, that would really spur on the regeneration of our city and establish it as a destination for visitors not only in 2021, but in the run-up and years after."

"We need everyone's support. From businesses, to schools, to individual people. Since the shortlist announcement we have seen a step change and more and more people and organisations want to get involved and back the bid in these pivotal final weeks.”

– Rebecca Ball, director of Sunderland 2021

Sunderland was shortlisted after submitting its first stage bid in April. Its second stage bid has to be delivered to the panel of judges by September 29, with Sunderland’s rivals for the titles now down to just four: Swansea, Coventry, Stoke and Paisley.