A historic agreement between Sunderland and Washington DC has now been renewed.

Sunderland City Council signed a Friendship Agreement with Washington DC in June 2006 and is the only non-capital in the world to have such an agreement.

The agreement has now been renewed in Washington DC at a signing ceremony with the City Council's Chief Executive Dave Smith and Washington DC's Mayor Vincent Gray.

To mark the renewal in Sunderland, a celebration event was held at National Trust property Washington Old Hall.

Councillor Paul Watson, speaking at Washington Old Hall, said: "The Friendship Agreement marks the unique historical connection between our two cities.

"I hope the next phase of the Friendship Agreement will open up even more opportunities for both our cities."

Since it was first signed in 2006, there have been cultural programmes between Sunderland and Washington DC, businesses from Sunderland have successfully gone to the US, and Sunderland has welcomed investment from the US.

The Washington DC signing - the same day as George Washington's birthday - was witnessed by the British Embassy's Deputy Head of Mission (Deputy Ambassador) to the US Philip Barton.