Background image courtesy of  via Flickr

Background image courtesy of via Flickr

Sunderland was once famed for its industry.  The things that were made here were built to last. The things made here were built to travel around the world. And they did.

But manufacturing declined, as it did throughout Great Britain.

Some places bounced back faster than others. Sunderland was reborn as a city in the early 1990s, but has taken longer to rebuild. 

And whilst it may have lost some of its confidence, its people never lost their civic pride. They still knew what they were capable of. They knew their time would come again. Whether they had much in the way of money or materials didn’t matter. Mackems are industrious, and resourceful like that. And just like before, they want to share the fruits of their labour with the world.

And now we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity, as Sunderland bids to become the City of Culture in 2021, to put this proud, hardworking region back on the map. 

Second Draft are a production company forged by the River Wear. We each started out elsewhere, and were each drawn to the city to study, to work, to live. We’re invested in Sunderland. We want to see it grow again. We believe that the City of Culture 2021 bid has the power to reinvigorate this place and its people.  

We have already seen the transformative effects from The Cultural Spring taking resources, passion and their infectious enthusiasm into the some of the city's wards. There they discovered dormant musicians, dancers and performers, and gave local people the tools to express themselves. New friendships were formed and ambitions rekindled. 

But if the city wins its bid, if Sunderland is crowned the City of Culture, then 2021 would become the year we step back up to being a powerhouse, a place famed for creating, for making, a city of Mackems.

And in the years leading up to this celebration we would be rebuilding; working towards a tangible goal, not just undergoing regeneration, but fulfilling the vision we share for our city.

Artists, performers, musicians and creatives would have a platform, culture would dominate the conversation, and people would become increasingly aware of the already rich arts scene developing in Sunderland. Curiosity would lead to engagement that would form the foundation for greater participation.

If we win, the city will be transformed, and everyone from the coast to the collieries will feel proud to be a Mackem again.

To find out more, and to support your city's bid visit: