Businesses are lining up to back Sunderland’s signature events in 2017 and 2018

For the first time, there are opportunities for businesses across Sunderland to support the city’s three signature events: Sunderland International Airshow, Sunderland Illuminations and The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018.

Companies who have already committed to supporting the Tall Ships Races 2018 in Sunderland were today invited on-board the STS Lord Nelson to help launch the range of corporate sponsorship opportunities.

A fleet of 80 vessels is expected to arrive to Port of Sunderland for the event which runs from Wednesday 11 until Saturday 14 July 2018. They will stay for a four-day festival before taking part in a spectacular parade of sail at the start of the first race of the series to Esbjerg.

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, said; “Today saw the launch of the many ways local businesses can be involved in supporting The Tall Ships Races 2018 in Sunderland .

“From sponsoring a sail trainee or hosting a corporate event on the deck of one of these magnificent ships to headline sponsor opportunities there is something for businesses of all sizes.

“It is fantastic to see so many businesses signed up to support the event before sponsorship packages have even been officially launched and I hope that the business community will join with them to help make this a truly spectacular event”.

Businesses already confirming their support include: Northumbrian Water Ltd, Gentoo, The Bridges Sunderland, Station Taxis and Port of Sunderland. They are urging other companies from Sunderland and the region to take the opportunity to support the world-class event.

Head of External Communications for Northumbrian Water Ltd, Maureen Berne said “We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic event. The Tall Ships Races in Sunderland will showcase everything the city has to offer and will be a great boost to the city and the region next summer.”

The event is anticipated to bring an additional £35m to the local economy with local businesses being best-placed to benefit.

Matthew Hunt, Director of Port of Sunderland said; “We are absolutely delighted to be playing host to the Tall Ships, which is set to be a phenomenal occasion for the whole city,

“Port of Sunderland has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, but its proud history goes back 300 years. To have the spotlight shine so brightly on the port next year is a great way to celebrate, and to show off the stunning riverscape we have in Sunderland.”

Andy Spark, Programme Manager for Jubilee Sailing Trust who operate STS Lord Nelson added; “Sunderland has made us very welcome and we are certain it will be a top-class event for the city next year. Businesses can also be sure that their support for the event will also help many young people of all abilities to benefit from the fantastic experience of sail training.

” We know from experience that working as part of a crew onboard a tall ship is a brilliant way of helping young people gain some of the skills employers are crying out for. The challenges they face builds confidence and self-reliance, as well as the importance of teamwork. So, who knows, businesses that support this fantastic event may be indirectly helping their future employees.”

For more information on sponsorship packages for the three events email: