Sunderland-based firms are being encouraged to take advantage of the boost in business opportunities that The Tall Ships Race 2018 will bring.

The city has been chosen as the start port for the race and – during a four-day event – Sunderland will be welcoming around 1,500 international crew members and 1.5 million visitors. 

The event – taking place between Wednesday 11th and Saturday 14th July – will mark the first time that the city has played host to The Tall Ships Races.

Sunderland City Council is urging local companies to get involved by submitting expressions of interest. The opportunities include: 

  • High-quality catering and bar concessions
  • Trade and exhibition stands, which will enable businesses to exhibit and trade their goods and services across the region and beyond
  • Markets, which will especially suit traders selling quirky, local, high-quality, heritage and nautical-themed items
  • A vintage fairground and an observation wheel
  • Marquees
  • Stewarding
  • Merchandise
  • Heritage coordinator

There are also opportunities for companies to sponsor the event.

The cabinet secretary of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Mel Spedding, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses across the city to get involved in a fantastic free family festival.”

“With crews and visitors from across Europe and beyond, a full entertainment programme, and – of course – the magnificent ships themselves, this promises to be a truly memorable event.”

There are a number of proposed event zones, including the Port of Sunderland, the East End, St Peter’s (the University of Sunderland) and the area along the seafront between Roker and Seaburn.

To learn more about business opportunities connected with The Tall Ships Race Sunderland 2018, please go to

The deadline for applications is Monday 29th January.

In more news associated with the Tall Ships Races, a large number of Sunderland school pupils are planning to ‘sing in the ships’ and thereby break the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people singing at the same time.

(The featured image shows The Lord Nelson, one of the vessels that will visit Sunderland as part of the Tall Ships Race 2018. Photo courtesy of Sail Training.)

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