A wide angle photo of a Sunderland city centre shopping street on a bright, blue sky day. Shoppers walk around in short sleeves

Sunderland BID

"The market research that MMC conducts is critical to the BID team and our wider city centre stakeholders. The MMC team feels like an extension of our team and they genuinely want to see the city centre flourish. They’re not afraid to tell us the bad as well as the good – which is critical for city centre research. What stands out to me is that they always come back to us with not just findings, but their own perceptions of how to take the research forward. With MMC it’s never just research for research sake, it’s always research and recommendations. They help us take it forward."
Sharon Appleby, Sunderland BID


Sunderland Business Improvement District is a business led, working partnership with various city stakeholders, with one clear vision – to create a vibrant city centre and opportunities for everyone. Since 2014, the BID has invested more than £3m into Sunderland city centre.


MMC has a five year market research agreement with Sunderland BID which consists of an annual business survey to measure engagement with businesses in the city centre and an annual consumer survey and focus groups.  We also measure the sentiment around various events they hold throughout the year including their annual food festival, their Christmas activities as well as their new Halloween programme.

For each element of research we fuse both quantitative (field work and online surveys) as well as in-depth interviews.

The research themes are built around Sunderland BID’s core objectives of city pride, city promotion and city voice.

The objective of the research is to make sure that the BID is delivers on its objectives of improving services, improving perceptions, encouraging visitors and trade and the overall economy.

Since COVID-19, MMC has also pledged to volunteer and provide support to a wider COVID-19 City Centre Recovery Task force which will involve provide further insights and coordinating with additional city centre research taking place.


The market research that MMC conducts enables the BID team to understand the true voice and opinions of their levy payers, non-levy payers as well as consumers/visitors to the city centre.  Each year it means we can build upon and compare findings which in turn provides the BID Board with a clearer narrative and comparison year on year.

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