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£3.5m Business Boost From North East Pop Concert

Thu 19th Jun 2014 | Money & Finance

Businesses across Sunderland are set for another multi-million pound boost this weekend, as the Stadium of Light hosts its second concert of summer 2014.

Following the success of One Direction’s recent sell out show, blinkbox music North East Live will draw around 30,000 music fans to the stadium on Sunday (June 22), with many travelling from across the North East and wider UK. 

The gig, being headlined by chart-topping artist Jessie J, is expected to contribute up to £3.5m to the city’s economy, with companies in the leisure and hospitality sectors being among those to benefit most.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson, said: “Hotels, taxi companies, bars and restaurants are the main beneficiaries from major events like this. However I encourage every business to treat this as a fantastic opportunity to benefit from the increased number of visitors this weekend.

“People from all over the country and even further, will be visiting Sunderland and it’s a huge opportunity to showcase what the city has to offer. The council, its partners and local businesses need to make sure they enjoy that visit and leave the city knowing that they want to come back again.”

Blinkbox music North East Live, organised by SAFC and AEG Live has an eight-hour running time helping  to enhance the economic impact.

Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Manager at SAFC, said: “Gates for blinkbox music North East Live 2014 will open at midday and our headliner Jessie J closing at around 9.45pm.

“This extended running time means that many people, particularly those travelling from outside the area, have opted for overnight accommodation, with others planning to arrive early and stay late in order to make travel easier and to soak up the atmosphere.                                                    

“Not only will this generate footfall for businesses around the Stadium but for the wider city as a whole.”

Concerts held at the Stadium of Light, featuring acts including Take That, Oasis and Rihanna, have already contributed more than £56m to the North East economy and have received strong support from around the city, with more than 450 people signing up to an associated City Greeters scheme.

The scheme, run by Sunderland City Council, is designed to make it as easy as possible for visitors to access the concerts and find key locations around the city, including restaurants, bars and taxi ranks.

Raoul Lemmerling, General Manager at the Sunderland Marriott Hotel, said: “The concerts at the Stadium of Light have had a direct impact on bookings here at the hotel and, while we still have a few vacancies for those attending blinkbox music North East Live, occupancy rates are already higher this weekend than on a typical Sunday.”

Image: Action Images / Craig Brough

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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