Giant light display installed at Sunderland City Council’s new home

Sunderland City Council’s new home has taken a step closer to reality.

The council is moving to a new City Hall, currently under construction on the former Vaux site, and now a giant feature light which will illuminate the central council chamber has been installed.

The digitally-enabled chamber, at the heart of City Hall, features a 9.3m circular diameter light fitting, creating a space that will also be used by the community for weddings as well as conferences and events.

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The chamber will make it easier than ever to join meetings remotely, in-line with the city’s ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2040 and will have no fixed floor furniture, so it can adapt to a range of uses.

The feature light fitting in placeThe feature light fitting in place
The feature light fitting in place

Council leader Coun Graeme Miller said: “When we first outlined our initial vision for City Hall, one of our main priorities was to develop a civic building fit for a 21st century city, a space that not only streamlined our core services and delivered a better experience for residents in the city, but also helped modernise the way we work.

“A key part of this was making sure the building was 5G-ready and ensuring it fostered an environment that would encourage hybrid and remote working, and the chamber is a perfect example of how we’re doing just that and delivering on our promises.

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“Throughout the pandemic, millions of people and organisations across the globe have had their eyes opened to not only the environmental and economic benefits of hybrid and remote working, but also the many work-life benefits it brings, and the ability to live stream and broadcast from the new chamber will help improve the work-life balance of everyone utilising the chamber, be it for council meetings, training or conferences.

The fitting is moved into positionThe fitting is moved into position
The fitting is moved into position
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“Our residents deserve a City Hall and city centre that reflects the ambition of Sunderland. And we’re hugely ambitious.

"We’re investing heavily in the heart of Sunderland as a council, and private sector investment is flooding in too. We’re reinventing Sunderland and creating new places and buildings our residents can be proud of.

"City Hall is one such space.”

The building is being constructed by Sunderland firm Bowmer + Kirkland, as part of a £100million investment by Legal & General, which will also see two new commercial buildings developed on the site.

Work under wayWork under way
Work under way

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The fitting is held in placeThe fitting is held in place
The fitting is held in place