Bally has thrown his weight behind plans for a sympathetic restoration of Seaburn’s Tram Shelter by the team behind popular Boldon venue Blacks Corner.
“The changes to our seafront over the last few years have been absolutely brilliant, and I’m really excited by proposals to bring the Tram Shelter back into use,” he said.
“Investment in the seafront is helping to establish it as a real destination and I’m pleased to add my name the list of people welcoming Blacks Corner’s excellent plans to breathe new life into this building. I particularly like their plans to work with the community to make this an asset that everyone can enjoy.”
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The shelter has been earmarked for transformation for some time, and a range of occupiers submitted bids to take on the building when it was marketed by local agent Lofthouse and Partners earlier this year.
The Blacks Corner team have submitted a listed building application outlining plans for the building, something they are required to do by the council given the shelter’s Grade II status.
A decision is expected in early January, and if approved, the team will begin work on restoring the building and will start working with local residents to understand how they can contribute to the plans.
The scheme includes plans to undertake a series of sensitive restoration works to the fish-scale roof; the cast iron columns; rainwater goods; and the existing timber frames. The plans will also enclose the tram shelter by replicating the details and proportions of the existing building, with plans including a delicatessen, an accessible WC, kitchen and servery counter.
Jonathan Dryden and Chris Lowden founded Blacks, launching their first eatery in 2017: “It’s brilliant to have the backing of a Sunderland legend as we develop our plans for the Tram Shelter,” they said.
“We’re thrilled that the council selected us as preferred custodians of this important building, and it’s our intention to create a space that can be a genuine community focal point once again, as this structure once was.”