Situated at the mouth of the River Wear, Sunderland has always made the most of the advantages its location offers. The city grew fast as a centre for the transportation of vital commodities, such as salt and coal. Shipbuilding has become a thriving industry that has grown over the centuries. As with many other towns and cities in the area, Sunderland was a coal mining city. In more recent times, the car manufacturer, Nissan, built a factory in Sunderland and this remains a good source of employment for Sunderland with more than half a million cars being produced there every year. The Nissan factory is now the largest car producer in the UK.
Beginning in the 1980s, the city of Sunderland underwent a huge period of regeneration, which attracted many new businesses to the area. Specialist business parks were even built to accommodate the companies who wanted to make Sunderland their home. Today, the city’s business scene is still going strong.
Though it may seem like Sunderland is filled with a mostly industrious history and residency, it has been a place of inspiration for many creative types too. Painter, L.S. Lowry based many of his works on scenes of the area and it is thought that Lewis Carroll, while on his frequent visits to Sunderland, also gained inspiration for his most famous work, Alice in Wonderland and other writings.