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.
A very warm #Wearside Welcome to @DCMS and the #UKCityofCulture2021 Judges.Have a fantastic day in our amazing City #WelcomeToSunderland pic.twitter.com/AYHrIecTE6 — Dean Matthews (@Dean_Matthews_) November 2, 2017
Love this wheel which celebrates those who were influential to our strong history in ship building #WelcometoSunderland pic.twitter.com/YQEwSgjXQt
“Wearside Lights” Sunderland shines in twilight. @StormHour @EarthandClouds #WelcometoSunderland pic.twitter.com/A0J62YOpRN
#WelcometoSunderland @DCMS #Sunderland2021 @Sunderland2021
And, of course, the glorious sight of the lighthouse by the sea (as boasted by broadcaster Lauren Laverne).
Big day for my hometown – the #cityofculture judges are visiting. Wishing them a very warm #WelcometoSunderland @sunderland2021 pic.twitter.com/m9dGSdUmgC — Lauren Laverne (@laurenlaverne) November 2, 2017
Where there’s also the chance to take a refreshing Boxing Day dip (fancy dress optional).
#WelcometoSunderland #Sunderland2021 with Washington Mind Promoting Alcohol Awareness prior to our Boxing Day Dip. pic.twitter.com/Kv4rZi1fh1
Sunderland is up against Coventry, Paisley, Stoke-on-Trent and Swansea in the City of Culture competition.