Wearside’s maritime heritage will take centre stage as the city’s £3million new public square is officially opened on Monday.
Sunderland Ladies football team will be among the special guests at the launch of Keel Square at 11am on Monday, August 31.
The square celebrates Sunderland’s shipbuilding and industrial heritage and the celebrations will begin at the newly installed unique public art feature ’Propellers of the City’.
The official opening will be led by Mayor Coun Barry Curran and city council leader Coun Paul Watson.
Coun Watson said: “This event will mark a great step forward in the continuous development of our city centre.
“Keel Square not only represents a new quality civic space for people to enjoy but also brings forward further investment sites around it to attract inward investment to the city.
“I encourage everyone to come along to join in the opening celebration and the free family events in the square on the day.”
The official opening will be followed by a range of free family activities.
Based in the new square, the activities will follow an historic maritime theme including acts of heroism, songs from the sea and demonstrations of the traditional skills of Sunderland’s shipbuilders.
Sonia Kulkarni, general manager of SAFC Ladies said: “Sunderland Ladies are honoured to have been invited to the opening of Keel Square.
“We are very much looking forward to the unveiling of the square which celebrates the city’s international significance and shipbuilding heritage.
“The local community have been fantastic in backing the Ladies this season, and it is fantastic to be involved in such a special event.”
Activities on the day include: The Port Hole –moving and still images of the Port of Sunderland; HMS Venerable – a fantastic 1/10 scale model of the ship on which Sunderland-born hero Jack Crawford served at the Battle of Camperdown; Street Theatre – re-enactments of the story of Jack Crawford and how he saved the day for England. Performances will take place on the hour between 11am and 2pm; Men of the Docks – step back in time with a shipbuilding tool talk and demonstration by Workers. See what techniques were used for shipbuilding in times gone by.
The HMS Venerable model boat, Men of the Docks tool talks and the Jack Crawford story are provided by Sunderland Maritime Heritage Centre.
Sun FM will be broadcasting live from Keel Square, Sunderland Empire will be on hand with its giant photo frame to allow people to create their own seashore and riverside scenes, and live music will come courtesy of musicians Alistair Anderson,Dan Walsh, Chris Meredith and Watchtone.