Cancelled: Unlock the City: Sunderland Creative SOUP

In light of most recent government measures to control the spread of Covid-19 virus all Sunderland Culture events will be cancelled from Wed 18th March until further notice. We have taken this decision in the best interests of our audiences, visitors and participants.

We will review the situation on a weekly basis and further updates will be posted on our social media and website channels.

If you need to get in touch with us please contact [email protected] and we will endeavour to respond to your query within two working days. Thank you for your support during this difficult time, and we wish you all the very best for the coming months

Event information:

19 March, 7pm – 9.30pm
Pop Recs Ltd, 27 Stockton Road, Sunderland
Entry is £4

Do you have an idea for a fantastic creative project which will benefit Sunderland? Apply to pitch at our first ever Sunderland Creative SOUP!

Inspired by ‘Detroit SOUP’, Sunderland Creative SOUP is a micro-granting event which uses democratic principles to decide where money goes, while also giving the creative community a chance to get together and share a meal. The focus of Sunderland Creative SOUP is on projects with a culture or heritage twist that will benefit Sunderland in some way.

The set-up is simple: at the event, we will invite 4 people/ organisations to introduce their project (max. 5 minutes, no technology!). The audience can then ask the presenters 4 questions. We all then enjoy some food, drink and entertainment, while a secret ballot is held and the money will go to the person/ organisation who receives the most!

The funding awarded comes from entrance fees to the event, so the more people who support the more we can give. However, for this first event we have an extra £300 to allocate, thanks to the support from The Peoples Powerhouse.

Entry is £4 and all of the entry fees go back into the grant pot.

To register your interest in presenting at the event, please submit a proposal below here:

Deadline: 7 February 2020. We will be in touch after the deadline date of 7th February to confirm your place.

This event is supported by The Peoples Powerhouse, and supports the aims of their charter, which aims to re-connect people with democracy and ensure a diversity of voices are heard in decision-making. Sign up to their Charter here:

The event is part of the Unlock the City programme which supports the development of artists and creative businesses in Sunderland. Unlock the City is delivered in partnership by Sunderland Culture, Sunderland City Council, Digital Catapult, North East BIC and Sunderland BME Network, with funding from Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Coastal Communities Fund.


The SOUP idea began in Detroit, with the vision of connecting people and communities to how decisions are made and changing the way people engage with the democratic process, as well as promoting community-based development through creativity, collaboration, democracy, trust and fun.

As of 2015, SOUP events have raised more than $100,000 that have gone directly to community projects. Past SOUP winners have started nonprofits, local businesses, after school programs and park clean-ups. Read more about Detroit SOUP here:

What sort of proposals are we looking for?
The only rules are that the project has to involve culture or heritage, and benefit Sunderland in some way. It’s up to you to define “benefit”- it could be anything from a project that directly works with residents, to a piece of street-art to brighten up the city centre, to bringing a new art form to the city.

Can individuals apply?
Yes, as can non-constituted organisations and collectives.

Can I pitch a project that is already running or has happened before?
Yes, providing you can demonstrate how continuing it or bringing it back would benefit the city.

How much money will I get?
Unusually, at this SOUP we have a guaranteed grant pot of £300, thanks to The Peoples Powerhouse who are supporting this event. Further than that, there will be an entry fee of £4 per person and money raised from this will also be added to the grant pot. So, the more you tell people about the event and encourage them to come along, the more money you might get.

Who judges the proposals?
A panel from Sunderland Culture and representatives from The Peoples Powerhouse will choose the 4 individuals/ organisations who will present.

I don’t want to pitch, but I do want to come along.
Great, it all relies on there being an audience! Just turn up on the night, bring some food to share and get ready to listen.

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