REGENERATION projects totalling more than £2bn are under way across Sunderland reshaping the city’s landscape and transforming the fabric of the city beyond recognition.
Sunderland has bold ambitions to make the city even better – in a few years’ time visitors can expect to see new homes, new businesses, new jobs and new landmarks.
The most impressive new addition to Sunderland’s riverside is Echo 24, Sunderland’s new residential development on the riverside.
The building is a landmark of contemporary design in an area undergoing rapid residential transformation.
It heralds the start of a new era for city centre development projects and has been embraced by the people of Sunderland as a symbol of the area’s changing fortune.
Work is well under way on the regeneration of the historic area of Sunniside to the east of the city centre with £130m invested in restoring this important city quarter.
Sunniside is establishing itself as the fashionable, thriving sector it once was offering specialist boutique shops, beautiful apartments and offices in restored and modernised Victorian architecture.
The stunning £2m Sunniside Gardens, fine restaurants and bars are a true reflection of our vision that Sunderland is a city with a difference. There are 1,000 new homes planned for the area and a combined arts and business centre is taking shape.
The landscape of the city has a vibrant, modern, bustling centre brimming with life and colour, balanced with easy accessibility, relaxing green environment, stunning award-winning coastline and a refreshing outlook to life.
The Sunderland Aquatic Centre, due to open in Spring 2008, will be the only 50m swimming pool between Leeds and Edinburgh. The flagship pool next to the Stadium of Light is a £20m project, and will provide much needed facilities for the whole of the Sunderland community, including schools, Sunderland College and University as well as for the region. We also have high hopes it will be used as a training facility for the 2012 Olympics.
There is significant business investment across the city. Sunderland has gained a worldwide reputation as a centre for car manufacturing, employing 12,000 in the sector. Nissan has just been given the go-ahead for a £4.5m expansion of the Sunderland car plant with the development of a new business park, which could bring 4,000 new jobs.
As well as this, Sunderland’s Software City was launched in an ambitious bid to attract millions of pounds of business investment, employ thousands of people and generate wealth in the city. Business, academia and the public sector are combining forces to create and deliver this exciting vision for Sunderland as a leading 21st Century city.
Councillor Bob Symonds, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunderland Software City will drive innovation, create enterprise and jobs, encourage graduate retention and create aspirations for local people, especially our school children.
“It adds to the excellent opportunities we already have in Sunderland. Our ever-expanding top quality business parks continues to attract investors.
“Great strides have been made in regenerating and redeveloping the city and this is now paying dividends. Developments of the calibre of Doxford International Business Park have helped to reshape the fabric of the city and boost the area’s image, while work is continuing on Rainton Bridge South Business Park, which represents £100m of investment and is expected to create more than 4,000 new jobs.”
Another important future development is the regeneration of the Vaux site. This former brewery site is a great challenge and a key gateway to the city with spectacular views over the River Wear.
The regeneration company Sunderland arc is to redevelop the site supported by a local, regional and national partnership of Sunderland City Council, One NorthEast and English Partnerships, who jointly fund the regeneration company’s programme.
Sunderland has undergone massive transformation in the last 15 years. It is a city living up to its status and no one can deny that Sunderland is on the up, but we have not finished there.
A new dynamic landscape is appearing and the city is brimming with self-confidence. With big investments coming Sunderland’s way and solid structural plans for the economy, the future is looking brighter.