Sir Bob Murray has accepted an invitation to become an Ambassador for Sunderland’s ambitious bid to become City of Culture in 2021.

“I was born into the fourth generation of a Sunderland mining family and have always been hugely proud of my personal heritage, and that of my city.

“Sunderland people are special – passionate and generous. I saw the passion first hand during my time as Chairman of Sunderland Football Club, and continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of Wearsiders in my role as Chairman of Trustees at the Foundation of Light, the charity arm of SAFC.

“I firmly believe a successful City of Culture bid would have a transformative effect on Sunderland. And it wouldn’t just act as a catalyst for the city’s growing cultural sector. The investment and higher profile would undoubtedly lead to jobs and greater opportunities for Wearsiders. I also believe that a successful bid would help encourage our young people to stay here, rather than look elsewhere to build their lives and futures.

“One thing I learned through my team at the club and at the Foundation, is that Sunderland is about true partnerships. It can act as one coherent, determined body as the city did during the 2018 World Cup bid. This strength means that the whole city, from the council to businesses large and small, to everyone living and working on Wearside will pull together to back this bid.

“I can think of no more worthy recipient of the title City of Culture 2021 than Sunderland.”

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