The Bridges Shopping Centre is to launch late night shopping on Thursday evenings, with selected stores opening until 8pm from January 8.
The late night shopping follows on from the success of the extended hours over the Christmas period.
Parking at The Bridges will be free from 5.30pm to 9pm on Thursdays as well as council-run city centre car parks, which will have free parking after 3pm on Thursdays.
Speaking about the extended opening hours, Andy Bradley, centre director of The Bridges said: “The Bridges is a fantastic Centre with lots of superb retailers. 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.”
Late night shopping is now part of a long-term initiative being spearheaded by Sunderland’s Business Improvement District, to help boost the evening economy in the city and make it a little more interesting. As part of this scheme, the BID is planning to hold a range of free entertainment on Thursdays in January, giving people the opportunity to enjoy their retail therapy and to then take advantage of the city centre bars and restaurants.
Thursday January 8 will also welcome the Discovery Zoo to The Bridges. Discovery Zoo will run from 6pm to 8pm in The Bridges Central Square, and shoppers will get the chance to mingle with a whole host of creatures ranging from guinea pigs to snakes and tarantulas.
Visitors will also be able to get the opportunity to take a selfie with the animals, and upload the picture and tag it, to be in with the chance to win a number of Bridges gift cards which will be given out every 30 minutes.
The final event of the month will take place on January 29, with a Dirty Dancing flash mob event in the Market Square, which will surely get everybody dancing and singing along.