WEARSIDE’s jubilation and endorsement of the LGBTQ+ community is set to embark on a fresh chapter, unveiling ambitious initiatives to commemorate Pride in Sunderland.

The yearly celebration is poised to make a grand return, surpassing previous editions, now under the stewardship of the newly established charity, Out North East.

Pride in Sunderland is planned for the entire month of June, coinciding with International Pride Month which takes place around the world.

Out North East has brought together experienced members of the LGBTQ+ community chaired by Peter Darrant, a former chair of Northern Pride and who heads up award-winning business, Pride World Media.

Peter and his team have pledged to create a continued programme of events, education, inclusivity and diversity to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community “in a way that it has not been done before.”

Pride in Sunderland was launched at City Hall on Friday (19 January) with more than 60 representatives from businesses and key partners in attendance.

Pride is being strongly supported by Sunderland City Council and Sunderland BID, which recognise not only the importance of the event but also the huge benefits to the city.

“This is the launch year for Out North East and we planning to enjoy a month long festival in Sunderland with a programme of events which will not only be for the LGBTQ+ community but for everyone,” said Peter.

“It will be a celebration but at the same time we will be offering a range of talks and education programmes, as well as working in partnership with a whole range of organisations to ensure that we can support LGBTQ+ people and the issues and challenges they face.”

Peter sent out his thanks to both Sunderland City Council and Sunderland BID for their support.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and the support we have had from both the council and the BID who are fully behind making Pride in Sunderland an integral part of the city’s events calendar.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland is welcoming and inclusive, and we’re delighted to be launching Pride in Sunderland with Out North East, Sunderland BID and key businesses and partners from across city.

“We look forward to a month-long programme of events celebrating diversity and inclusivity being held here this summer.

“Pride in Sunderland will be a celebration of our LGBTQ+ community and its allies but there are opportunities for everyone to get involved, show their support and have fun while celebrating equality and diversity in our city.”

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said this was an important move for the city.

“As Sunderland continues to enjoy growth and investment, it’s important that events like Pride in Sunderland also move to the next level,” she said.

“This is such an important event to showcase what a diverse and inclusive city we have and we are delighted to be partnering with Out North East to deliver such an exciting programme.”

Full details of Pride in Sunderland and the opportunities for both sponsorship and involvement are available at www.outnortheast.org.uk

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