AMBITIOUS plans to improve the Wearside seafront have moved a step closer.
Companies have now been invited to bid for contracts to reburbish sites at Roker and Seaburn, worth an estimated £1million.
The work to improve Marine Walk, in Roker, and Seaburn Promenade has been put out to tender by Sunderland City Council.
The contracts include work to improve roads and install new street lighting, as well as building a new play area.
It is also hoped the work will prove to be a boost for both new and existing businesses, like the Seaburn Shelter development.
The shelter is expected to reopen as a high-quality restaurant.
Councillor Mel Speding, cabinet secretary at Sunderland City Council, said: “The seafront is one of our major assets and we would very much like local companies to come forward and bid for this work.
“We’ve gone for an open procurement process, which gives a wide number of contractors, including local businesses, the opportunity to tender for the work and it would be nice to see some Sunderland companies in the running for this.”
The first stage of the process will see contractors invited to submit an interest in the work.
Any applicants will then be assessed for their suitability, before a final shortlist of at least five companies is drawn up.
A company will then be appointed in December, with work expected to be completed by early July.
The work will follow on from an initial stage of redevelopment funded by the Commission of Architecture and the Built Environment’s Sea Change fund and Sunderland City Council.
The Sea Change Fund was established in a bid to regenerate the economy of coastal areas, using investment in culture and heritage to attract visitors back to the area.
Improvements included a new events space at Holey Rock Corner and new gates for Roker Pier designed by the artist Fiona Heron.
There was also some new feature lighting, which has recently won a national award.
At Seaburn Promenade, new granite steps were built, along with replacement seating on the sea wall and sea-facing seating on the upper promenade, funded by Sunderland City Council’s area committees.
Any interested parties are asked to apply via the website www.qtegov.com. All expressions of interest must be submitted by September 24.
Public consultations on the designs will then take place between September 12 and 21, with contractors then invited to submit quotes for the work based on final designs.