Sunderland Music Arts and Culture Trust is on track to launch Sunderland Music City with the support of £300k of social investment from Northstar Ventures

Sunderland Music Arts and Culture Trust is on track to launch Sunderland Music City with the support of £300k of social investment from Northstar Ventures

Hekla Goodman

Mar 28 2024

Northstar Ventures, through the North East Social Investment Fund (NESIF), has invested £300,000 into Sunderland Music Arts and Culture Trust, (‘MAC Trust’) alongside a grant of £37,500 from the County Durham Community Foundation.

The funding is a key component in the organisation’s leading role in the regeneration of Sunderland and will enable the trust to start a new project, Sunderland Music City, with a number of partners in the city and the region.

Sunderland Music City will establish Sunderland as a globally recognised music hub, with a particular focus on ensuring that individuals from diverse backgrounds have full access to educational and cultural events.

MAC Trust’s mission is to regenerate Sunderland through the provision of high-quality cultural venues and events. They are responsible for The Fire Station, the award-winning arts venue in Sunderland developed in collaboration with Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Department for Culture Media and Sport and Sunderland City Council. The Fire Station is widely recognised as a landmark development for the city and has hosted a wide range of concerts, shows and other events and sold over 120,000 tickets since it opened in December 2021. The venue also includes educational spaces and studios for music and musical theatre.

MAC Trust is also responsible for organising several major events in Sunderland including Summer Streets, in partnership with Sunderland Council and Arts Council England.

Paul Callaghan, Chair of MAC Trust, said: ‘We are extremely grateful for this support from Northstar Ventures and the County Durham Community Foundation which will allow us to deliver our exciting Music City project. By developing and supporting music we can help the city and the region in several important ways through job creation, economic and artistic growth, tourism development, reputation and brand building. It will involve not just the music community but also the education and public sectors, voluntary bodies, and the community at large covering all musical genres, all ages and everyone who wants to play, sing, or listen.’

Tom O’Neill, Investment Manager at Northstar Ventures, said: ‘We are delighted to support MAC Trust with the launch of Sunderland Music City. It is an exciting project that will develop Sunderland as an internationally recognised music centre and play a key part in the ongoing cultural regeneration of the city.’

Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive of grant-making organisation County Durham Community Foundation, who contributed £37,500 toward the initiative, said, ‘It’s essential for us to keep investing in and supporting our region’s cultural venues and community spaces. Places where people can come together, share experiences, or develop a talent, no matter where you’re from, or what your background is. At the Foundation, our core mission is to fight poverty and enrich lives. This project will enrich the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of local people, and we’re very pleased to be able to support the team at MAC Trust in doing that.’

For more information contact: [email protected]

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