A new Aldi store is part of a plan to build a new arena and shopping centre on a popular entertainment site.
The supermarket, fresh events venue and retail park is proposed for land now home to Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton.
The plans are being drafted up by Roseberry Leisure, which owns the plot, and is teaming up with Real Estate Development Partnerships Ltd (RED Partnerships) to work on the scheme.
The project’s leaders say the new stores would “significantly improve shopping choice for local people”.
They say the plans are still at an early stage and will launch a consultation on Monday, when people will be welcome to offer their views on the ideas.
If approved, the supermarket and stores will be welcomed by shoppers in the area, with work well under way on a new Lidl store on the site of the former Co-op in Houghton town centre.
The arena has been very popular for many years, but an improved building would help us to create a hub for today’s biggest artists and events and help build on the venue’s local and national appeal.”Michael Roseberry
The new arena would continue to host events including concerts, functions and conferences, with food and drink units proposed for some of the 10 new shops which could go on the site.
The design drawn up could see the retail park built on the land where the arena stands, with a new events venue to go on land on the other side of Rainton Burn, on a neighbouring field off the next junction from Mercantile Road.
A public exhibition is being held on Monday to offer people more information and seek their views.
Michael Roseberry, managing director of Roseberry Leisure, said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring these plans forward. “The arena has been very popular for many years, but an improved building would help us to create a hub for today’s biggest artists and events and help build on the venue’s local and national appeal.”
James Ridings, development director at RED Partnerships, added: “This is a really exciting proposal that would provide an excellent new arena and retail facilities for local residents and businesses.
“If approved, the development would create around 250 jobs during construction, as well as hundreds of jobs when the overall scheme is finished.”
Roseberry Leisure and RED Partnerships are looking to submit the application in the coming weeks once all of the feedback has been considered, and say they will keep people updated as the plans move forward.
They believe benefits of the proposal would also spread to the wider Sunderland area, with the potential to provide a major boost to the local economy.
The exhibition will be held at the area from 1pm to 8pm on Monday.
Anyone cannot make it to the exhibition, or would like to know more about the proposal, will be able to find information via www.wyg.com/rainton from Tuesday.