As well as a number of new buildings rising into the city skyline, such as the Riverside Sunderland development on the old Vaux site and the Auditorium being created next to the Fire Station, a number of the city’s old buildings are being repurposed.
We round up some of the current transformations, from a hub of independent shops now calling Mackie’s Corner home to the city’s only castle getting set to open its doors.
1. Hylton Castle
After years of campaigning, an investment of £4.2million and Covid delays, Hylton Castle is expected to finally open its doors to the public soon. Painstaking work to renovate the historic structure began in autumn 2017 after years of campaigning by residents to put the castle at the heart of community life. Once a neglected shell, it will now house a cafe as well as learning, event and exhibition spaces, with community-based training, learning and volunteering at the heart of the project. The transformation also includes a new roof with some of the best views in the city. Photo: Stu Norton
2. Seventeen Nineteen, former Holy Trinity Church, East End
The transformation of one of Sunderland’s most historic buildings is gathering pace ahead of a reopening this autumn. Once at the heart of old Sunderland housing the old town’s council chamber and library, Holy Trinity Church in the East End played a vital role in the community, but in more recent decades the Grade I-listed building had fallen into disrepair. Now, more than 300 years since it was built, it’s taking shape as a new events and arts space for the city named Seventeen Nineteen, after the year the church was created for the Parish of Sunderland. Photo: jpi media
3. Wear Commissioners Building, John Street
Finishing touches are being made to a landmark city centre building as it’s transformed into a business centre to help boost the local economy. Situated on the corner of St Thomas Street and John Street, the River Wear Commissioners Building was bought by Adavo Workspace – a company specialising in renovating and retrofitting grandiose old buildings into modern business centres – in March 2019. Following an extensive £3m refurbishment program, the company has transformed the building into a modern, energy efficient state-of-the-art business centre while retaining all of its unique and original features. Photo: jpi media
4. Old railway manager's office, now Proven People, Burdon Road
It had stood empty for a number of years since its time as Divino's, but the old railway manager's office in Burdon Road recently opened as late night bar and pizza parlour, Proven People. The new owners have worked with the building's striking original features including the original parquet flooring and beams to create something new for the city. Photo: jpi media