£4.6million plan to transform Washington's 'F' pit and Albany Park
Washington’s historic ‘F’ pit and Albany Park are in line for a £4.6million revamp as part of Sunderland’s proposed £223million worth of city-wide improvements.
The pit’s Grade II-listed winding house is part of Washington’s proud industrial heritage and, when possible, provides the public with a fascinating insight into the past. The scheme is not just about the history of the pit. It also aims to share the history of the whole of Washington.
Details are yet to be finalised and Sunderland City Council would welcome the input of the community. But the site could soon be boosted by an exhibition, teaching facilities, cafe and play area.
Albany Park is to benefit with a revamp, including attractions designed to draw people to the points in the park which offer panoramic views of the surrounding area, designated areas for wildlife, spaces for events, play areas and a car park.
All the investment projects will be examined at the council’s next cabinet meeting on Tuesday, December 8. The meeting will be streamed live on YouTube and starts at 10am.
Washington’s impressive coal heritage goes back hundreds of years and locals are keen to preserve it.
Cllr Linda Williams represents the Washington Central ward and has always lived in the area. She is also the ‘Vibrant City’ portfolio holder on the council’s ruling cabinet.
She said: “The original concept came from Cllr John Kelly who has worked to get it to this point.
“We’re trying to put other things around the ‘F’ Pit. We want to see a rejuvenation of Albany Park.
"It’s very important to Washington as a mining town. My grandfather spent his working life down the pit and my dad spent some of his time there too.
“The money comes from the capital project, so we’ve got to spend the money on capital. This seems like the perfect thing for us to spend it on.”
Other projects under discussion include a £31million footbridge over the River Wear, the £38million Vaux Housing and the Future Living Expo to showcase regional skills and housing innovation, and the £5million refurbishment of Barnes Junior and Fulwell Junior schools.