Demolition of Seaburn Centre to begin as redevelopment of Sunderland seafront pushes ahead
The process has begun to demolish the Seaburn Centre as efforts to redevelop the city's seafront move forward.
Sunderland City Council has applied to its own planners to knock down the former leisure centre in Whitburn Road.
The centre, which opened in the mid-80s, closed in March after the council said it was “no longer commercially viable”.
Siglion, which is a partnership between the authority and Carillion, hopes to create new housing, seaside retail and leisure facilities in Seaburn.
In June, the development was given outline permission by the council with work progressing on plans for retail, leisure spaces and housing, as well as green spaces and outdoor adventure play area.
Siglion and council chiefs say they want to make the seafront a place where day-trippers, walkers, cyclists and families can enjoy their visit.
A notice telling people of the intention to knock down the centre states the work is expected to start on Tuesday.
Councillor Mel Speding, the council’s cabinet secretary, said: “Following extensive consultation in one of the council’s largest public engagement exercises, a Seaburn development masterplan was adopted in 2011.
“This included the Seaburn Centre site, which was closed to the public earlier this year.
“The long-term plans remain for a wider mixed-use re-development and the council is working with partners in both the public and private sectors to achieve this.
“A programme of work for clearing the centre site is now underway.”
The future of the site was discussed at a meeting of the full council last week, Fulwell ward member George Howe raised the future of the site and asked what was happening to the centre.
The Conservative councilor added: “Is it to be demolished or are there any worthwhile reasons why it was closed in the first place depriving users of health supporting recreational facilities of which there is a shameful lack at the seafront?”
Coun Speding replied: “The Seaburn Centre closed in March this year as it was no longer viable to operate on a short term commercial basis pending development.
“To mitigate the council’s holding costs the centre will be demolished and this process is underway.”