City landmarks in Sunderland will be lit in blue and orange, the colours of Hays Tavel and its associated Hays Travel Foundation, in tribute to John Hays.

The lights are due to go on at dusk on Tuesday and Wednesday until dawn the following morning as the region continues to mourn the company’s founder who collapsed and died at the agency group’s headquarters in the city on November 13.

The funeral is due to take place on Wednesday.

City Council leader Councillor Graeme Miller told the Sunderland Echo: “It was a shock to so many people to hear of John’s death. It’s fitting that we look to a visible tribute and with a book of condolences there is the opportunity to mark his passing in words.

“John was always deeply loyal and committed to Sunderland and the north-east region and we thank him for that. I know many other people feel the same, and he was loved and admired by many people in the city and beyond.”

The city council awarded John Hays a Freedom of the City in 2016 as recognition for his services to the community.

The honour is reserved for worthy citizens who have made Sunderland proud with their achievements and endeavours.

More than £22,000 has been raised in donations via a Go Fund Me page to the Hays Travel Foundation, set up to create opportunities for young people.

To donate, click here.