Culture bid hits the road

Sunderland’s bid to become the UK’s next City of Culture is being driven home by the city’s longest established taxi firm.

A newly branded Station Taxis cab has taken to the streets of the city, proudly flying the flag for Sunderland’s bid, as the competition moves into a critical stage. Adorned in Sunderland 2021’s striking colours, the vibrant taxi is helping to raise awareness of the fact that the city is running in the nationally-contested competition, which will see bid submitted at the end of April.

The taxi was branded after Station Taxis boss Trevor Hines committed his backing to the bid. Mr Hines – who was born and raised in the city – has been working with the Sunderland 2021 team to look at what his business can do to encourage greater awareness of, and support for, the bid.

“We carry a huge number of people in our cars each and every day, and for many people, their taxi driver is the voice of the city – the person who tells them all that is great and good about the place.

“Our taxis are also very recognisable, so the colours of the 2021 taxi will definitely catch people’s attention and create awareness of the City of Culture bid. As a local company we feel it is important to encourage as many people as possible get behind the bid to become the UK City of Culture 2021. We are seeing a real wave of change in the city at the moment, with huge investment that is starting to transform the place, and the more we can do to bring investment into the city, the better. This would be a positive catalyst for change.”

Mr Hines, Managing Director of Station Taxis

The City of Culture competition will see places submit their bid by April 28, with the competition coming to a close at the end of this year. Judges will select a winner from Coventry, Hereford, Paisley, Perth, Portsmouth, St Davids, Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea, Warrington and Wells, who have all declared that they will be bidding.

“This is a phenomenal display of support from Station Taxis and we are incredibly grateful to them for helping to get our colours so prominently displayed in the city.

“Sunderland is one of 11 bidding towns and cities, so having such clear displays of support from key businesses in the area will be important, to prove to the judges just how much the city wants this.”

Rebecca Ball, director of Sunderland 2021

City of Culture status can deliver a multi-million-pound boost for the successful city. This year, Hull celebrates being the UK’s City of Culture, and it is estimated that the title will deliver £60 million to Hull’s economy this year alone. The city has already seen a £1 billion boost in investment since winning the title in 2013.