SUNDERLAND’s Business Improvement District is introducing a range of initiatives to give support to the city centre during the lockdown.

And it has praised a number of retailers for diversifying and working together so they can continue to offer their services.

The Bin has launched an advice line – available over social media or via telephone – for worried business owners to ask questions or get the latest information.

And it also plans to create a panel of experts from across a wide range of sectors who will be able to answer questions about area of concern.

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland Bid said: “This is a very difficult time for everyone,” said .

“And we want to reassure the city centre businesses we are doing everything we can to support them.”

The Bid is also using its social media channels and landing page of its website to share information and updates on what Government support is available and how companies can best help their employees.

She added: “Amidst all of this doom and gloom, it’s fantastic to see how many of them have found ways of working together or offering a new kind of service.”

They include burger restaurant 2 Church Lane, teaming up with Station Taxis to offer a delivery service, while Thoburns greengrocers and Rob The Butcher in Blanford Street and Ibbitson’s at Jacky Whites Market are delivering essential packs.

Other Sunderland based companies which already have a very strong online presence are continuing to promote their services, including clotheswear shops Designer Childrenswear, Aphrodite, Bou-Chique and vintage menswear retailer Port Independent – with the added incentive of offering a range of discounts.

For further on services available from buinesses and retailers during lockdown information visit