Sunderland economy set for £50 million boost with 2018 Tall Ships Race win
Sunderland has been announced as a host of the 2018 Tall Ships Race.
The event will reportedly deliver excellent returns to the city in terms of both profile and development of the economy, with the economy in particular estimated to benefit by £50 million.
The event, which previously drew large crowds in Hartlepool and Tyneside, attracts hundreds of sailing ships from around the world.
The races are open to any mono-hull sailing vessel of more than 9.14m water line length, provided that at least 50 percent of the crew is aged between 15 and 25 years old and that the vessel meets strict safety equipment requirements. Crews are truly inclusive, open to people of all abilities.
Sunderland was once the largest shipbuilding town in the world. Over recent years its seafront and riverside have undergone extensive award winning regeneration works and is fast becoming a vibrant, bustling location for families to enjoy time together by the water.
The event is expected to build on the other major developments. By the end of this year there will be a new public space at the heart of the city centre ‘Keel Square’ complete with lighting and public realm pieces specially commissioned to celebrate Sunderland’s shipbuilding heritage.
Some of the proposed berthing areas will be where great sailing ships like the Adelaide and Torrens were built. The Torrens was the fastest passenger clipper to cross from London to Adelaide in the latter part of the 19th century.
Sailing has always played an important role on the Wear and Sunderland is recognised as one of the early centres for the sport. Sailing has been organised here for over 160 years by either Sunderland Yacht Club or its predecessors.
The current club has been in existence since 1912 and celebrates its 106th anniversary year with The Tall Ships Races 2018. The club caters for most forms of sailing activity, including being a RYA (Royal Yachting Association) recognised training establishment.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor, Paul Watson, said: “This is fantastic news that Sunderland has been chosen as a host port for The Tall Ships races in 2018.
“This success reflects the enthusiastic response from partners, organisations and individuals across the whole region who supported our bid.
“It shows once again our strengths for holding and hosting events such as The Sunderland International Airshow, stadium concerts and the Sunderland Illuminations.
“This is a great event everyone to experience and enjoy our river. There are going to be many opportunities for young people in terms of volunteering, developing new skills and making new friends during the event.
“I hope everyone takes advantage of the opportunities this is bringing and joins us to make it a truly memorable experience for the crews as we welcome them to the ‘home of shipbuilding’.”
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