Pictures show demolition of Sunderland's former Annabel's nightclub as work on Culture House forges ahead

It was the site of many a ‘70s disco night, festive fancy dress parties and annual tin collection, but the dancefloor at Annabel’s is no more as the site is demolished to make for the city’s new Culture House.

In its heyday, the large leisure unit on the corner on High Street West housed many city institutions, such as Annabel’s nightclub, Idols and Luciano’s restaurant, but demolition works are forging ahead for a new cultural addition to the city.

A major new development as part of the wider Riverside regeneration masterplan project, Culture House will be a landmark city library and cultural attraction in Sunderland

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Standing four storeys high, the £27m modern hub, which was approved earlier this year, will overlook Keel Square housing a range of facilities for adults, children and young people and spaces for exhibitions, storytelling, learning, media and arts and crafts.

The old Annabel's and connected buildings are being demolished to make way for Culture House

As well as adult and children’s library facilities, the venue will offer a café, business and faith spaces, an events hall, a local studies and archive centre and a roof garden.

The new community hub is expected to open in 2024 and it is anticipated that 500,000 people will visit each year.

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In the meantime, the site is being cleared to make way for the development, with the former Luciano’s already gone. The latest section of the demolition sees the old Annabel’s dancefloor going, as well as the demolition of the old Idol’s and Corner Flag pubs.

Nearby, work is also progressing on the transformation of the old Gilbridge Police Station into new office development, The Yard.

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Demolition of the former Annabels nightclub to create the Culture House.
Demolition of the former Annabels nightclub to create the Culture House.
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Demolition of the former Annabels nightclub to create the Culture House.
Annabels Nightclub celebrating its 32nd birthday advert in November 2000
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Annabels Nightclub in December 1988
Annabels Nightclub in November 1982, celebrating 14 years as a nightclub in Sunderland.
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Annabels Nightclub dancers / fire eaters on 16 October 2002
The annual tin collection in 1982
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How Culture House will look