The Beacon of Light will soon be shining after Sunderland City Council granted full planning permission for the landmark charity building.
The striking £16.5million building will house education and training facilities, and an indoor football pitch.
The Foundation of Light, Sunderland AFC’s official charity, wants the building to use “the power of football to inspire people and change lives,” helping people gain skills and qualifications, and with teams working with families and aiming to re-energise communities.
Building work is already underway, and the project has now been given the final green light by Sunderland councillors.
Former SAFC owner and Foundation of Light chairman Sir Bob Murray said: “The Beacon of Light will be a game-changer for the Foundation of Light and catalyst for so much that we want to achieve in the next decade.
“The Foundation already works with more than 40,000 people every year, and the Beacon will significantly expand our work and the number of lives we can touch.
“I have always been a passionate advocate of the power of education to change lives and the power of football to inspire and motivate people.
He added: “The Beacon will epitomise this vision and fuse together sport, education, the world of work and health and well-being like no other place in the UK.”
The Home and Communities Agency (HCA) has also confirmed the necessary land deals have also been approved in principle.
The venue is expected to welcome over 300,000 people through its doors every year.
The £ cube-shaped development was designed by leading architecture practice FaulknerBrowns, and will be the first building of its kind in the UK.
The Foundation of Light began in 2001 and aims to use football to educate, inspire and motivate.