Big hitting Sunderland organisations are getting behind the city’s first Business Festival, which is set to take place in October.

The University of Sunderland is the latest organisation to support the inaugural City of Sunderland Business Festival, which is taking place between 4 and 8 October 2021.

The event will shine a spotlight on the city’s most forward-thinking businesses, as well as the transforming skyline that is attracting organisations from across the globe to Sunderland.

It will also connect local people to job opportunities, inspire business people with thought-provoking speeches and sessions from world-class speakers, and showcase the industries that are driving the economic regeneration of the city.

The University, which has been shortlisted as University of the Year – the premier category in the THE (Times Higher Education) annual awards – is sponsoring two days of the event– alongside headline sponsor, Sunderland City Council.

Both days will include a mix of virtual and in-person seminars, discussions and talk-ins.

Sir David Bell KCB DL, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring Sunderland’s first ever Business Festival at a time when the city is transforming itself and creating incredible opportunities for students, local people and businesses alike.

“Sunderland is already a wonderful place to live, work and study. But it is also a city of opportunity for those looking to carve out a successful career and enjoy a great lifestyle.

“We are excited to be hearing from the leading experts and innovative businesses who will be at the Festival.

“Thus, we are proud to support an event that will showcase and celebrate all this brilliant city has to offer.”

The University of Sunderland has 20,000 students, including those in the city, London, Hong Kong and in many international partners.

Alongside a life-changing purpose, its ambitions are to be student-focused, professions-facing and society-shaping.

Sir David Bell added: “As a university, we are proud of our partnerships and how well we collaborate with the private, public and voluntary sectors.

“Sponsoring the Business Festival is further evidence of our belief that Sunderland is great place for business.”

The programme of events taking place across the Business Festival week will include a line-up of leading experts and speakers, who will explore the importance of skills and education in future-proofing Sunderland’s business landscape, as well as the digital capabilities needed in the city to attract new business start-ups.

There will be a Recruitment Fair to support residents with information on training options and job opportunities, as well as a week-long event in the Bridges shopping centre called Bridges Means Business, which will include lively sessions for those looking for employment, a career change, or with dreams of running their own business.

Chair of Sunderland Business Partnership, Ellen Thinnesen, who is also chief executive of Education Partnership North East which includes Sunderland College, said: “The University of Sunderland has an internationally excellent reputation for education, and we are thrilled to have them sponsoring and supporting the city’s first ever Business Festival.

“The Festival will be a fantastic platform for innovative businesses in our city and over the course of the five days, will bring together business leaders from not only the North East, but from across globe, to share best practice and inspire others.

“It will also provide a stage on which to showcase the abundance of opportunities we have right here on our doorstep, from a manufacturing sector leading the UK’s race to electrification to professional services businesses that are absolutely putting Sunderland on the map as cutting-edge digital trailblazer.”

For further information about Sunderland Business Festival visit