ONE of Sunderland’s best-known venues is set for a new lease of life – at least for the time being.
The Pullman Lodge Hotel on Seaburn seafront – complete with its iconic railway carriage dining area – was bought by Sunderland City Council last year, after the collapse of Wearside-based Wylam Leisure in 2011.
The council spent about £1.6million to secure the prime site as part of its plan to redevelop the seafront.
Now the venue has been leased to businessman Tony Singh, who also runs the former Wylam Leisure venue The Queen Vic at Roker.
Tony, who operates the Hedworth Hall Hotel in South Shields, has taken over the Pullman Lodge on an 18-month lease but has ambitious plans and hopes the council will agree to extend the deal if he can make a success of the venue.
“The aim is, if we can get planning permission from the council, that we are going to make it into the biggest venue in Sunderland,” he said.
“We are going to refurbish the whole place.”
Tony has plans to hold events such as high-profile boxing matches at the venue. His architects will be visiting the site this week as the first stage of drawing up plans.
“It is only a short lease but I am willing to put the money in and I do think we can make a go of it,” he said. “It is the best location in the area.
“We need to make it into a big venue in order to make it successful and attract people. We want to bring people into Sunderland.”
The city council has made regeneration of Roker and Seaburn a key priority and has drawn up a plan for the area.
The Echo reported earlier this year that funding had been put in place to extend the work which has already been carried out to improve the seafront.