Late night Thursdays launched in Sunderland

Shoppers suffering from post-festive blues can add a bit of colour to their lives thanks to a new initiative unveiled in Sunderland this week.

The Bridges shopping centre is to launch late night shopping on Thursday evenings, with selected stores remaining open until 8pm from January 8, following on from the success of  extended hours over the Christmas period.

And that means good news for people who can’t get into the centre before the normal closing time of 5.30pm – with the added bonus that parking at the centre will also be free from 5.30pm to 9pm on Thursdays.

Late night shopping is part of a long-term initiative being spearheaded by Sunderland’s Business Improvement District, to help boost the evening economy in the city.

As part of this scheme, the BID is planning a programme of free entertainment on Thursdays in January, giving people the opportunity to enjoy their retail therapy and then take advantage of the city centre bars and restaurants.

This will kick off with Discovery Zoo from 6pm to 8pm in the Bridges Central Square, where shoppers can mix and mingle with a whole host of creatures ranging from cuddly guinea pigs to snakes and tarantulas.

Visitors will get the opportunity to take a “selfie” with the animals, upload the picture and tag it, to be in with the chance to win one of a number of Bridges gift cards which will be given out every 30 minutes.

“The Bridges is a fantastic centre with lots of superb retailers,” said Andy Bradley,Centre Director of the Bridges.

“This is a great opportunity for more local people to shop at their leisure, particularly anyone who works in or around the city centre.

“It also means that shoppers from other areas can make an evening of it and see what the Bridges and Sunderland in general has to offer.”

Major retailers including Boots, Debenhams, Next, Primark and H &M are backing the scheme, which runs successfully in a number of other cities. Other city centre shops including Argos and Wilkos are also planning to stay open.

The move comes at a time when a number of new shops have opened in the Bridges, including the American-style Ed’s Diner and clothing brand, Roman Originals along with premium jewellery store, Swarovski.

The programme of events put together by Sunderland BID to support the late night shopping includes a magician on 15 January, followed by a unique event on 22 January where local people will be asked to share their happy memories of Sunderland.

The final event of the month will take place on January 29, with a Dirty Dancing “flash mob” event in the Market Square.

“We are on the cusp of a great new evening offer in Sunderland, with a number of new or refurbished bars and restaurants having opened in the last few months” said Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID.

“The programme of events planned for Thursdays throughout January, coupled with the Bridges late night shopping, will be another great reason to venture into the city on a Thursday evening.

“It will showcase the city centre as a great place to shop, eat and be entertained both during the day and into the night.”

Council-run city centre cark parks will also be free after 3pm on Thursdays.

Find out more about free paking in council car parks.

Find out more about The Bridges.

Share this

Did you know?

2013 marked 21 years since Sunderland city status from HM The Queen, on 23rd March 1992.

Twitter

Registrations for Penshaw Bowl are now open! It’s a free event, taking place on Good Friday, 30 March at Herrington… https://t.co/wTgRQgvYiP 2 days 11 hours ago
RT : The Nose That Nobody Picked is a rip-snorting family musical adapted for the stage from the award-winning book by D… https://t.co/MVvffyqmk2 4 days 2 hours ago
RT : Watch at 8pm tomorrow, (Thursday, February 15) to see the Red Arrows feature in the latest episode of Sea C… https://t.co/cq5cv6CZug 4 days 2 hours ago
Fantastic news today, can’t wait to see Elmer and his pals trumpeting around the North East https://t.co/9WZI68ffOW 4 days 12 hours ago
Ooh this looks like another tasty Restaurant Week! https://t.co/J5stOcOkmV 5 days 2 hours ago
RT : Don't miss the amazing hour long on BBC 2 at 8pm this Thursday. https://t.co/x6e5ZggJo5 5 days 2 hours ago
RT : A trip to Roker Pier & Lighthouse is a brilliant day out for all the family this half-term. Nothing will beat Downe… https://t.co/WNB2KDQZDX 6 days 13 hours ago
RT : Come and join us for some fun and make a pirate portrait! 🏴‍☠️We're in the pottery gallery all day, the a… https://t.co/Nps5OXVvlD 6 days 13 hours ago
RT : The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Sunderland on Wednesday 21st February, where they will officially open… https://t.co/P6LPbQ7Bn6 1 week 1 day ago
Amazing opportunities to dine and sail on the spectacular Tall Ships this summer https://t.co/G3HBQobfrc 1 week 3 days ago
Making plans for half-term? We’ve got some great suggestions! https://t.co/S9UO9E6UYx https://t.co/tpMJ277OAk 1 week 3 days ago
RT : Come along to Bright Sparks family fun event this Saturday from 10am for a day of activities and cha… https://t.co/mYTGg5WUP7 1 week 4 days ago
RT : The is almost upon us! Come and join in the celebrations for on Sat 17 Feb, 11am to 3… https://t.co/idnXWMZ4lA 1 week 4 days ago
Exciting news! is one of the venues to host this amazing exhibition, in February 2019. https://t.co/LItr4PiWHC 1 week 4 days ago
RT : Looking for ideas for fun to keep the kids entertained? 🤔 Why not get them on our🇨🇳 Chinese Zodiac Animal… https://t.co/XW7it4SFEx 1 week 6 days ago

Facebook

Download the See it Do it app

Sign up to our newsletter