A NEW view of the planned Beacon of Light project has been unveiled.
Sunderland AFC’s charitable arm, the Foundation of Light, has submitted planning permission for the development on the banks of the Wear.
The Beacon will provide a mix of both indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, alongside zones for education, introducing young people to the world of work, and health and wellbeing.
It will be built on a triangular plot directly to the north-west of the Stadium of Light and Sunderland Aquatic Centre, in the Stadium Park area.
Sir Bob Murray is chairman of the foundation’s trustees: “The Beacon will be an exciting and inspiring education, training and sports facility and an important catalyst for the wider regeneration of this quarter of the city,” he said.
“Our plans have been designed to complement and support plans to provide sustainable and vibrant learning, skills and health facilities to help achieve the City’s Economic Masterplan and vision of an attractive and accessible Sunderland.
“The Beacon will be an exciting and inspiring education, training and sports facility and an important catalyst for the wider regeneration of this quarter of the city.”Sir Bob Murray
“The Beacon will provide a safe, vibrant and feel-good environment where young people can meet socially; where they can learn and take part in courses to gain skills and qualifications; and where their fascination and love of football will start them on a journey that will help them make choices to improve their lives.”
The centre will be the first of its kind in the UK and will welcome thousands of children, young people and adults from across the North East through its doors every week.
The striking cube design was devised by leading architecture practice FaulknerBrowns, who have a worldwide reputation for leisure and sports design.
Built over six storeys, the development will provide 11,140sq metres of accommodation and occupy 4.75 Hectares. The façade line of the building will sit 4.5metres below the football stadium eaves, with the stadium roof structure projecting.
The entrance level will include a range of facilities within a public ‘street’ that runs through the building from the entrance to the riverside.
The public education zone, located directly off the main public street space, includes six classrooms for up to 35 people each, with an associated flexible learning zone.
The Sunderland Centre of Opportunity is located on Level Two and includes space for up to 80 children in six flexible classrooms, each with its own group room.
The World of Work zone is also located on Level Two. The work zone units and associated breakout areas provide bases for real-life businesses to provide vocational training for young people and those looking to return to work in a realistic working environment.
The Health and Wellbeing Zone on Level One includes a drop-in health centre with four confidential consultation rooms and healthy café.
The Sports and Play Zone includes a sports hall and flexible hall to accommodate sports including basketball, netball, futsal and badminton, while the football barn on the top of the building includes an artificial 3G Grass Pitch, which can be split into four equal training areas and used either as a single FA youth standard 7 v 7 pitch or two FA youth standard 5 v 5 pitches. This level also includes changing facilities and a café.
Outside, the site is landscaped and an avenue of trees has been included along the boundary.