£1.5million improvements planned for Sunderland city centre

The transformation of Sunderland city centre is set to continue with a host of changes between High Street West and Low Row.

By Kevin Clark
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 4:43 pm

The city council is set to invest around £1.5million with high-quality paving, street furniture and a new crossing point between Minster Park and Garden Place. The work is set to begin at the end of this month and is expected to be completed in the Autumn.

The council will be working with local businesses potentially impacted by the work to minimise disruption and ensure they can all remain open and continue to thrive.

Council leader Coun Graeme Miller, said: “We are driving forward a programme of development works across Riverside Sunderland the scale of which has not

been seen in generations, and it is vital that these huge investments are joined up and connect into the wider footprint of our city centre.

“This work will link the fantastic recent improvements made to Garden Place and Minster Park and create a beautiful city centre corridor leading into Keel Square and the incredible development we’re driving around the square, the former Gilbridge Police Station and Vaux site, as well as our £80million plans for Crowtree.

“It will provide the city with attractive, wider footpaths, creating additional opportunities for pavement cafes, and help provide places for people to meet in and enjoy this stunning section of the city.

"It will also make it a more attractive environment for shoppers and visitors by reducing the dominance of the road through this busy area.”

A view of the area from the air

The Minster Quarter has undergone a major transformation in recent years.

Garden Place provides a picturesque new pathway from St Mary’s Boulevard into High Street West and the Minster Park. Improvements include the planting of semi-mature trees, placement of reclaimed cobbled setts quarried from Dun Cow Street, and large planters and seating to create a focal point for people passing through.

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“The fantastic work to regenerate and reinvigorate Minster Park has been used as a launchpad for the stunning transformation of this part of the city, which we will

keep going across the entire city centre,” said Coun Miller.

“The rebirth of Sunderland is well underway and it’s there for anyone visiting the city to see.”

Around £500million of investment will flow into Riverside Sunderland alone this year, with the project, spearheaded by the city council, promising to transform the banks of the Wear, link both sides of the river and enhance vast sections of the city centre.

Covering 33.2 hectares, the project will create a 10,000-job, one million sq ft business district, 1,000 sustainable homes and the UK’s first carbon-neutral urban quarter.

The former Vaux Brewery site is becoming a huge commercial hub, including flagship buildings The Beam and new City Hall, funded as part of a £100 million Legal & General


The masterplan also includes a £36million replacement for Sunderland Eye infirmary and two additional L& G-funded commercial buildings, a further 200,000sq ft of space. Plans are also progressing for Culture House, an immersive library in Keel Square, a new pedestrian footbridge and additional parking for people living, working or visiting the city.

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