Their football team might be struggling, but the people of Sunderland are still showering social media with regional pride to back their hometown’s bid to be crowned UK City of Culture 2021.
The North East city is in the final stages of its attempt to win the coveted title, which comes with £3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with the judging panel from the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) visiting the city today.
The team behind the bid have asked residents to tweet their favourite things about the city using the hashtag #WelcomeToSunderland – and the responses are so joyful, you don’t even have to be from Sunderland to appreciate them.
Here’s a flavour of why Mackems (as they’re affectionately known) love Sunderland:
There’s the impressive buildings and meaningful sculptures.
The view of, and from, their iconic Wearmouth Bridge.
The beautiful countryside.
And, of course, the glorious sight of the lighthouse by the sea (as boasted by broadcaster Lauren Laverne).
Where there’s also the chance to take a refreshing Boxing Day dip (fancy dress optional).
Sunderland is up against Coventry, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Swansea in the City of Culture competition.