Friday 6 September 2019
I hope everyone had a great summer break as we all return to normal routines this week and here's wishing our younger residents a very happy and successful year at school, college, university or starting a new training opportunity or job.
There was a huge amount going on in the city over the summer with the chance to enjoy our wonderful events ranging from the Sunderland Airshow to last weekend's Sunderland River Festival and all the Active Sunderland Community Festivals in between.
The Sunderland River Festival was just brilliant and a truly Sunderland event celebrating both the city's proud maritime heritage and its creative future. The activities and watersports on the water were great fun and there was entertainment aplenty on both sides of the river showcasing some fantastic local talent.
We were also delighted to host some of the World Transplant Games events including the swimming at Sunderland Aquatic Centre, the ten pin bowling in Washington and the cycling at Hetton Lyons Country Park. Athletes were cheered on by crowds from across the city and it was an absolute honour for councillors to present some of the medals.
Sunderland's reputation continues to grow as a world-class events destination and simply stunning place to visit and spend time, with our beautiful coastline, beaches, parks and green spaces and an array of great places to meet up for a drink and bite to eat.
I am delighted to report that the latest STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Model) statistics for 2018 reveal that visitor numbers, visitor spend, and the number of people employed by tourism in the city are again all on the increase.
9.18 million people visited Sunderland last year, up by 4.7% on 2017, and visitor expenditure now stands at £474.83 million, up by 6.5%.
It's clear that millions of people agree with me that our city is a fantastic place to be and I'm really looking forward to seeing many more residents and visitors enjoying all the events and developments coming up in the Autumn.
We will of course also be cheering the football team on as they start the new season and looking forward to some entertaining performances and great wins at the Stadium of Light!
Leader of the Council