Sunderland has been undergoing a bit of a clean-up in recent weeks, with the council determined to get the city centre spruced up for the summer.

And official statistics suggest the ‘deep clean’ project is achieving its aim of making central Sunderland a cleaner, more attractive and more vibrant place.

Some of the figures are as follows:

  • Over two tonnes of waste have been collected during the clean-up’s first month.
  • 12,285 metres of pavement have been scrubbed clean and hot-washed to remove chewing gum, stains and graffiti. Seven streets have been cleansed in total, which are Park Lane, Olive Street, Derwent Street, Cowan Terrace, Vine Place, Green Terrace and Crowtree Road.
  • 54 people have been fined for dropping litter – 49 for dropping cigarette ends, two for discarding food wrappers, one for dropping a sweet paper, one for dropping a bus ticket and one for dropping chewing gum.

The deep clean is also set to spruce up other parts of the centre, including Waterloo Place, Union Street, Market Square, Fawcett Street, Holmeside and Athenaeum Street.

In response to feedback from residents, Sunderland City Council has invested £460,000 into frontline environmental services. This has helped pay for more environmental officers, specialist cleaning equipment and more efficient enforcement of litter and waste disposal laws.

It is hoped the city centre will be looking spick and span before a series of summer events kicks off.

On the weekend of 11th and 12th May, the Sunderland City Run Festival will take place.

This will be followed by a concert from iconic nineties band The Spice Girls, who will play the Stadium of Light on 6th June.

Between Friday 21st and Sunday 23rd June, the city centre will host the Sunderland Food and Drink Festival, which will feature famous authors and celebrity TV chefs.

Sunderland City Council’s executive director of neighbourhoods, Fiona Brown, said, “We’ve got a fantastic programme of events lined up to attract people into the city centre over the summer and keep them coming back.”

“So we want to make sure that it’s looking its best and the deep clean is an important part of that.”

“We’ve had a huge amount of support for what we’re doing from our partners at Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), volunteers from businesses across the city, our own staff, city centre businesses, and – most importantly – from residents.”

“The message does seem to be getting through that we all have a responsibility to keep our city clean and if people persist in dropping litter, the irresponsible few who spoil things for everyone else can expect a fine for their actions.”

“We’re also continuing to support city centre businesses with help and advice on how best to manage and dispose of their trade waste.”

“We all want a city centre we can be proud of and we all need to work together to achieve that.”

(Featured image courtesy of Jonas Bengtsson, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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