A North East food and drink festival has been hailed as a resounding success as organisers say the event boosted the city’s economy by £840,000.

Visitors to Sunderland’s Food and Drink Festival helped make the event a “huge success” this year after a staggering 15,000 poured into the city centre to get their hands on some tasty grub.

Organised by Sunderland BID working with the City Council, the three-day event saw stalls placed across Market Square, Keel Square and Market Street West serving up a variety of food.

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Families and children were also able to enjoy live entertainment at the event as the weather remained sunny and clear throughout. 

Now, bosses have praised the “overwhelmingly positive” response to the festival that has added an estimated £840,000 to Sunderland’s economy.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said: “We have had incredible feedback about the Food and Drink Festival, both from the people who attended and the stallholders and performers who took part, as well as from city centre businesses.

“The whole of the city centre was busy across the entire weekend and there was a fantastic atmosphere.

“We are delighted to have been able to deliver an event that has been so enjoyed by everyone and that has made a substantial and positive impact on the local economy.”

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Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Minister for Vibrant City, Cllr John Price, has also praised the event that he says boosted local businesses.

“It was fantastic to see so many people out enjoying the sunshine and delicious food on offer at Sunderland Food and Drink Festival.

“The festival attracted thousands of visitors and created a buzzing atmosphere across the city centre, and it gave local businesses a real boost. It was just one of the brilliant events on offer in Sunderland this summer so there is still plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.”