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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Sunderland city centre set for 21st century transformation

Sunderland city centre is set for an exciting transformation including plans for a large-scale arena with events space created as part of the £80million Riverside Sunderland project.

The council has announced a series of vibrant leisure developments set around a new 10,000-capacity, multi-purpose arena, to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to Wearside every year.

What’s more the scheme will see the emergence of several restaurants, a food hall, hotel and studios.

The aim is to build on existing successful cultural attractions in the city, such as the Empire Theatre, The Fire Station and investments in Keel Square featuring the planned Culture House and the Keel Square Holiday Inn.

The Council hopes to create an experience-led destination armed with £20million of funding from both Government and local authority combined. They have yet to sign off the proposed budget though Asian Standard has learned councillors are viewing the plans positively.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re transforming Sunderland – we’re delivering on our promises to residents – and we’re proud to be spearheading a programme of change in Sunderland that is unlike any period of change in living memory.”

“The rate of transformation in our city points to the level of regeneration we are delivering for Sunderland, and this development raises that bar higher”.

“We set out an ambition to bring more experiences to the city as part of our Riverside Sunderland investment strategy, and you only have to look at the change to date in the city centre to see that it is more than an aspiration – it’s something we’re determined to make a reality”.

Leader of Sunderland Council Graeme Miller Image gov.uk

The arena forms part of the council’s successful bid to the UK Government’s Future High Street Fund, facilitating the demolition of the remains of the former leisure centre and to undertake associated works to accelerate the plans.

The project follows on news the Grade II listed Sheepfolds building, close to the Stadium of Light, is to undergo a major restoration, transforming this derelict building into a stunning £2m events and hospitality venue.

Cllr Miller added: “We set out an ambition to bring more experiences to the city as part of our Riverside Sunderland investment strategy, and you only have to look at the change to date in the city centre to see that it is more than an aspiration – it’s something we’re determined to make a reality.”

The North-East development is situated some10 miles away from ASM Global’s new 12,500-capacity Newcastle Gateshead Quays arena and conference centre, scheduled to open in 2024.

There is no date yet set for completion of the scheme on Wearside.

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