Find out how you can get involved with Sunderland conservation plans

An old image of the Sunderland Empire which is at the heart of the Bishopwearmouth Conservation Area.
An old image of the Sunderland Empire which is at the heart of the Bishopwearmouth Conservation Area.
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Residents in Sunderland have the chance to find out more about conservation work.

Residents and businesses are being invited to an event on Monday, April 9, to find out more about Bishopwearmouth Conservation Area, and the recent Townscape Heritage bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund including plans to improve Town Park.

Last year Sunderland City Council was successful in winning through to the second stage of a £1.9million bid to the National Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help restore historic buildings around Sunderland Minster, the Empire Theatre and Town Park.

If its bid for second round funding is successful, £2.5million will be spent on restoring and enhancing historic buildings, public realm works in Town Park and a programme of events, training and activities from Summer 2018 until June 2023.

Bishopwearmouth Conservation Area was designated in 1969 centred upon the core of the medieval village. This was extended in 1989 to include the surrounding 19th and early 20th century development in recognition of the varied architectural and historic interest.

The boundary includes a range of high quality Victorian and Edwardian buildings such as the Empire Theatre, and the Dun Cow and Peacock pubs, as well as the historic core of the medieval settlement around Sunderland Minster and Town Park.

The event on Monday, from 2pm until 6.30pm, is being held at Sunderland Minster, in the historic heart of the conservation area and is part of a six week consultation on the new Bishopwearmouth Conservation Area Management Plan.

This highlights the unique significance of the area and sets out the council’s commitment to future management of this important part of the city centre. People will also be able to find out more about plans for improving and revitalising Town Park, and the wider regeneration of the area.

Iain Fairlamb, the council's Head of Planning and Regeneration, said: "We were delighted to secure initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the scheme last year and we've been doing a lot of work since then to come up with detailed proposals which we submitted in February.

"This scheme will allow us to see some of the beautiful buildings and historic spaces in the Bishopwearmouth conservation area restored through a Townscape Heritage partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"This event is an opportunity for people to come along and find out more about conservation area management and how they can get involved."