The station’s southern entrance will be closed, with passengers asked to use the northern entrance on Union Street, as demolition begins.
The Market Square and Waterloo Street entrance will close from Monday, May 2, marking the start of a scheme to completely revamp the whole station.
Contractor BAM Nuttall will start work on creating a new point of arrival for visitors travelling to the city by train and Metro.
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Demolition of the existing southern entrance will clear the way for the construction of a new building featuring a large glass wrap around design, and including a new ticket office and reception, public toilets, retail space and cafes, and comfortable waiting areas, as well as a new mezzanine level with office space for rail staff. The works does not impact access to the Bridges and other retailers at Market Square, all of which remain open as normal.
Sunderland City Council has led the campaign for the new station, bringing together partners including Network Rail, Nexus, Grand Central and Northern, for the first phase of revamp of the transport hub.
The council is drumming up support for a full makeover over the next six years, with plans for a reimagined northern entrance to create a statement building and gateway entrance to the Central Business District on High Street West.
The northern entrance will become the city’s main arrival point, with Mackies Corner and the Elephant Tearooms among the impressive buildings greeting people coming into Sunderland.
The scheme also features works to increase capacity, with four tracks and four platforms to separate Nexus and Metro from mainline services, allowing both to expand as public transport connections regionally and nationally.
Sunderland City Council chief executive Patrick Melia is excited to see work begin: “This is the start of a transformational programme of work, that will give the city the station it deserves,” he said.
"While there will be disruption during construction, we know that – ultimately – the outcome will be well worth it, and we’re pleased it’s advancing.”
The improvements have been part-funded by the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund with an overall package £16.3illion.
Network Rail will be overseeing the southern entrance works and completion is scheduled for 2024.