THE regeneration of Sunderland’s seafront has been handed a multimillion-pound boost after new funding was announced.
Plans for further major improvements to Roker and Seaburn have been revealed by Sunderland City Council and they have allocated £2.85million for the project.
It will see £1.5million-worth of work commence on the area’s promenades and £1.35million of repairs and refurbishment to Roker Pier and Lighthouse.
Drafts for the improvements to the seafronts have already been made and it is expected that work there will begin early next year.
The repairs to the lighthouse and pier though are expected to be spread over a three year period.
The council said that this latest stage of development would continue the delivery of the Seaburn and Roker masterplan as part of the Seafront Regeneration Strategy.
Visitors to the coast will have already noticed changes and works being carried out in the area, including new seating along the promenade.
Future plans include dazzling clifftop lighting and special seafront pods. Hopes are also high that land occupied by the former funfair can be used to maximum effect in attracting more people to the coast.
Tim Maughan, 46, visiting the coast from Gateshead, said: “It’s nice down here but it’s a shame there’s not more to do.
“I’m not sure why there’s a big supermarket near such a lovely beach either. I would like to see a few more nice bars and cafes down here.”
Tim’s wife, Eva, 42, added: “It looks as though there’s a lot of potential because it is such a beautiful stretch of coastline.”
It is hoped the extra cash announced will help further boost the profile of the area.
Cabinet Secretary Coun Mel Speding said: “To continue the delivery of the Seafront Regeneration Strategy the council has allocated a further £2.85million over the next three years.”
“Design work has started for promenade improvements at Roker and Seaburn. The council will be engaging with businesses and residents in the coming months on these designs.
“These works will include resurfacing of the decking and restoration/replacement of railings.
“Detailed work is now underway to determine the exact nature of the works. Opportunities for match funding towards the works, from for example the Environment Agency, is being explored.”
Earlier this month, residents living near the coast, along with local businesses, expressed concerns after it was announced a review was being carried out into the resorts office based at Roker Marina.
The council also came in for criticism after the £75,000 “reflective” gates installed on the pier began to rust within months of being installed.