SUNDERLAND AFC is supporting the city’s first business festival.

Taking place between October 4 and 8, the City of Sunderland Business Festival will shine a spotlight on some of the city’s most forward-thinking businesses, as well as the transforming skyline that is attracting organisations from across the world to the city.

Steve Davison, Chief Operating Officer of Sunderland AFC, said: “As a lifelong Sunderland fan, I have witnessed first-hand just how much this club means to the city and its people, which is why we have been working tirelessly as a club to rebuild relationships with supporters and the wider city.

“Whilst we all know that our matchdays and concerts are an important part of life in the city, one of the other huge positives I have witnessed in my first few months has been the common desire within the city to improve the experience of working and living in Sunderland.

"Sharing this common aim is extremely beneficial and we will continue to work together to accelerate progress. As one of the largest venues in the city, we’re delighted to be playing host to key parts of the Festival at the Stadium of Light."

Details of the programme will be released soon.

Chair of Sunderland Business Partnership, Ellen Thinnesen, who is also chief executive of Education Partnership North East which includes Sunderland College, said: “Sunderland AFC is one of the city’s most historic and famous organisations and we are absolutely thrilled to have them playing such a key role in helping bring to life the city’s first ever Business Festival.

“Over the course of the five days, the festival will bring together business leaders not only from across the North East, but from across the globe, to share best practice and guidance and to hear all about the abundance of opportunities we have right here on our doorstep, from a manufacturing sector leading the UK’s race to electrification to having a rich talent pool made up of five world class universities.”