Sunderland teens set to ‘Come & Play’ at Expo pilot

Expo Sunderland photos of singing, fashion, gaming, beauty, robots

SUNDERLAND teenagers are being invited to explore cutting edge new tech at an event taking place later this month [February].

Come & Play is the first of a range of exciting pilot events aimed at residents and visitors, taking place as part of Expo Sunderland, which will go big in 2025.  Led by Sunderland City Council in partnership with the University of Sunderland, Expo will showcase the transformation of the city centre and the Riverside Sunderland regeneration, exploring new ways to make our cities healthier, our homes greener, and our lives better.

Come & Play is aimed specifically at 11-17s and will take place during the half term holidays, between February 20 and 22, at The Bridges shopping centre, Sunderland.

The interactive event will provide a window into some of the coolest new innovations and emerging technologies, including a chance to explore amazing new robots, bullet-time photography and gaming, eco-fashion and fitness showcases as well as the chance to be part of the footage for Expo Sunderland promotion in 2025.

Sarah Gilley, event director for Expo Sunderland, said: “We are so excited to welcome the city’s young people to Come & Play, which will provide an opportunity to explore and experience new technology that is changing the way we live our lives.

“Sunderland is an innovative city with digital and tech at the heart of the vision for its future, so – by ensuring our residents are immersed in its application and able to maximise the opportunities digital offers – we will be able to help everyone in the city to unlock their own potential too.  This event is not only about having a great time exploring new tech – it’s about understanding how it can enhance our lives and the role it can play in driving our city forward.”

Come & Play will also provide opportunities for visitors to find out how they can get into the professions of the businesses and organisations exhibiting at the event.  Careers showcased span health, digital and technology.

Expo Sunderland’s headline sponsor is the University of Sunderland.

Joanne Usher, a Corporate Engagement Officer from the University of Sunderland, is working with the Expo Sunderland team.

She said: “Young people are the future of this city and ensuring that they see this as an attractive place to live, work and play is critically important to the ongoing success of Sunderland.

“Representatives from across the University are looking forward to getting involved in Come & Play. The event will show the city’s young people the art of the possible – the ways in which technology can improve their life – as well as demonstrating that Sunderland is a city that is embracing digital and smart infrastructure in new and exciting ways.

“Come & Play will be so much fun and also give young people the opportunity to think about future study and work options, aligned to their interests, right here in Sunderland.”

The Bridges is hosting the event in the former New Look unit, which overlooks Crowtree Green.

Karen Eve, Bridges centre director, said: “The future of this city is so bright, with some brilliant opportunities for young people, so showcasing this to the next generation in engaging, inventive ways is something we are thrilled to support.”

To find out more about Expo Sunderland and Come & Play, visit