A campaign has been launched to shine a spotlight on independent shops, restaurants and businesses in Sunderland.

inSunderland is an initiative supported by Sunderland BID in collaboration with Save the High Street.

And it aims to connect a collaborative community which will support, promote and champion the independent businesses in Sunderland.

The scheme, which is also being supported by Sunderland City Council, is now calling on independent food outlets, bars, service providers, shops and businesses within the city centre to sign up to take part.

They will then be encouraged – with help from the BID – to support each other through joint marketing and promotional activity.

“We have a thriving community of independent businesses, which bring originality, variety and character to our high street,” said the BID’s Head of Business Operations, Sharon Appleby.

“But it is easy for their voices to get lost and, by bringing them all together to create one, sizable community, it will be a case of strength in numbers.”

The BID hopes that by working with the businesses and providing marketing and promotional support they will not only increase footfall within the city centre but improve the overall health of the high street.

And they are urging the public to get behind the scheme and spread the word among friends and family and on social media.

“Of course, the best way to support local businesses is to spend money with them,” said Sharon, “so I’d urge shoppers to explore the city centre, visit our independents and see for themselves just how lucky we are to have such a thriving community here in Sunderland.”

SaveTheHighStreet.org is an industry movement, launched in 2016, with the aim of establishing diverse and successful high streets, now and for the long term.

The inSunderland initiative hopes to have signed up at least 50 independent city centre businesses by March 2020, supporting the hashtag #insunderland.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/InSunderland