Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre provides a venue for social and cultural events, meetings, training, and is well used by a range of voluntary and public sector organisations as avenue for their activities. In addition, the centre runs a range of projects and services that meet local needs.
The centre started as a pioneer project in 2000, originally to meet the needs of the Bangladeshi community in the City of Sunderland. From the very beginning the it has supported and developed work that has promoted the integration of all black and minority ethnic communities in Sunderland into the mainstream life of the city. The centre has always stressed that is ‘open to all’ and that its mission is to serve all communities irrespective of ethnic origin, culture or religion. The centre recently changed its name to International Centre in order to reflect the increasingly international nature of its activities.
The centre is located in Hendon, very close to the commercial centre of the city. It iis easy to reach by public transport and it has its own car park at the front of the building.
The organisation is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.
The Sunderland Bangladesh International Centre celebrated 15 year of working in the City and launched their new name stressing the “International” nature of their work at an event held at the centre in the 21st January.
As the chair of the SB International Centre, Syed Khaled Miah said “Much has changed during the last 15 years. The City of Sunderland has become more diverse with people from many, many different parts of the world coming to live and work here. This is why we decided to change the name of the centre, to include the word “International”. This is a very important word for us because we want to make it clear that we are open to everyone, of all faiths and races. We see the Sunderland Bangladesh INTERNATIONAL Centre as a place where people from many different part of the world can meet and enjoy each others company, learn from each other and find help and guidence”.
The Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, councillor Brian Curran, praised the centre for its work and stressed that it was “particularly important, in these troubled times, to acknowledge the work of this centre in promting tolerance, understanding the mutual respect for people from differnt backgrounds and cultures. In our City we stand united against extremism and intolerance and the work of this centre, has made and continues to make, a valuable contribution to towards building harmony and understanding between people of different faiths and skin colour”.