Sunderland’s Business Improvement District (BID) received a special Recognition Award for its ‘Positive Impact within the Community’ at an inspiring VIP event recently held at Sunderland College’s City Campus.

Sunderland’s BID is a dynamic business led, working partnership with a clear vision to create a vibrant city centre and opportunities for everyone. Their values are focussed on belief, passion, positivity, and engagement which are key in all they do to drive forward city pride, promotion, and voice. 

The special award was presented to Sharon Appleby, Sunderland BID’s Chief Executive, and Kirsty Curry, Operations Manager, by James Stuart, Chair of Education Partnership North East, of which Sunderland College is a part 

Speaking at the Sunderland College-led event, Ellen Thinnesen, Chief Executive said: “The college is privileged to have been a proud partner of Sunderland BID for several years. They really do understand the true value of partnership work and always go above and beyond to support local businesses, communities, and importantly college students and their families.” 

Ellen recalled the BID’s ambitious Clean Sweep programme in 2018, where over 3,000 college students were mobilised to complete 100 impressive city-wide projects. 

It was highlighted how Sunderland BID had continued to inspire college students to become involved in many cultural and community events across Sunderland such as flash mobs, music gigs, the city parade, and projects such as showcasing student fashion and textiles work in The Bridges Shopping Centre. 

More recently, Sunderland College’s drama students also performed six special shows ay Hylton Castle as part of the city’s Fear on the Wear Halloween, a programme also designed by the BID.   

Ellen added: “It should not be underestimated just how powerful these varied and diverse experiences are. There is no doubt they play a vital role in developing student’s confidence, self-belief and a real sense of accomplishment and pride. Therefore, Sunderland BID is deserving of this recognition award as their brilliant approach to partnership really does change the lives of others for the better.” 

The BID is continuing with a Christmas programme of activity including augmented reality and stocking trails, Christmas characters, competitions and promotions around the ever-expanding Sunderland Gift Card programme as well as Christmas Movies playing on the new screen which has been installed in Keel Square.  

Sharon Appleby, BID Chief Executive, said: “We are absolutely over the moon with the award that we have received from Sunderland College.  It’s always a real pleasure to work with the staff and the students and the creativity and passion that they bring is always absolutely amazing. We are really looking forward to continuing our relationship and working on more exciting projects with the College.”

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19