New life will be breathed into Old Sunderland with a little help from a Government cash boost.
The area – centred around High Street East and the East End – is one of 28 nationwide to benefit from a new Coastal Community Team.
Each team – made up of local volunteers, councils and businesses – will receive an initial £10,000 to develop a blueprint for economic growth and be offered support from a network to regenerate seaside areas.
Andrea Winders is leading the Old Sunderland team.
“Old Sunderland was once the centre of Sunderland, with a bustling economy built on trade from incoming ships, shipbuilding and commerce,” she said.
“But over the years, the city has spread westwards and the centre has migrated to High Street West, which is supported by the retail heart of the area and developments such as Vaux.
Local business owners and residents will be central to the way the team works to breathe life into Old Sunderland.Andrea Winders
“It is important to remember the past and find a place for it in future developments, so this will work hand-in-hand with the Historic Action Zone status announcement made recently by Historic England to drive investment and development into the area, while preserving its historical significance and beauty.
“Local business owners and residents will be central to the way the team works to breathe life into Old Sunderland, with support from Tombola, Quayside Exchange, Sunderland University and students and the soon-to-be-reopened Boars Head.”
Mal Robinson, commercial manager at the university’s UniSpace, said: “It is great news about the awarding of Coastal Community Status to Old Sunderland.
“It feels like the city is finally coming alive, what with the City of Culture bid, the cultural quarter, the Tall Ships Race in 2018, the launch of the Sunderland Culture group – and now this for the East End of the city is fabulous.
“Being a local lad and involved in the array of projects is a privilege, and these really are exciting times for Sunderland.
“The award of coastal community status will hopefully see further regeneration to the area.”
Announcing the new Teams, Coastal Communities Minister Andrew Percy said: “The Great British Coast has enormous potential and we’re determined to see it thrive all year round, as part of building a country that works for everyone.
“By 2020 we’ll have invested nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in our seaside areas, providing thousands of jobs, training places and opportunity along the shore.
“We want to see radical plans of action and I’d urge these new Coastal Community Teams to go out and create a further wave of enthusiasm along the shore.”