Have your say over naming of Sunderland’s new £100million bridge

Council leader, Coun Paul Watson, at the site of the new Wear Crossing.
Council leader, Coun Paul Watson, at the site of the new Wear Crossing.
Have your say

Work is well under way on Sunderland’s new £100million bridge between Castletown and Pallion – and now it needs a name.

We’ve joined forces with Sunderland City Council to give the people of Sunderland a role in deciding what the new Wear Crossing should be called.

An artist's impression of how the new Wear Crossing will look.

An artist's impression of how the new Wear Crossing will look.

The process will involve two phases – the first to choose a theme and the second to come up with the name itself.

Council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “The new bridge will have far-reaching benefits for the city and the wider region.

“I’m excited about the possibilities it will bring to Sunderland, and also finding out what people think it should be called.

“The people of Sunderland have been waiting a long time for this bridge. They’ve been very supportive during the construction process so far, and it’s vital that we include as many people as possible when choosing a name.

“We successfully used a public vote to help us choose a name for Keel Square, which has become an award-winning landmark in our city centre, and hopefully a name for the bridge will be just as well accepted by our residents and the wider community.”

Coun Watson explained the thinking ebhind the two stage process.

“We thought simply asking residents to pick a name out of nowhere would result in too many suggestions for us to choose from, so people will be asked to vote for their favourite theme first.

“Once we have agreed on a general theme, we will produce a shortlist of possible names for the bridge.

“Phase 2 of the naming consultation will begin in the summer, and that’s when people will be asked to vote for their favourite name.”

New Wear Crossing Project Director David Abdy added: “Choosing a name for something as important as this is always difficult.

“It needs to be original, positive, easily pronounced, stand the test of time and, ideally, be different to any other bridge names.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what theme the people of Sunderland think we should use when developing the shortlist.”

The themes for selection are:

• History and heritage - Sunderland has a history to be proud of.

Major industries and local heroes put Sunderland on the map, whether it was saints, soldiers, ship building, mining, glass making or inventors.

Should the name of the bridge reflect our past achievements?

• Features, appearance or location of the bridge – The bridge will be a new landmark for Sunderland.

Should the name reference its striking design or height?

Should it include the name of our city? Should it reference our river and coastline?

• Forward thinking/aspirational – The bridge is a bold statement about the ambition of the city, and the commitment to making improvements, which will bring new developments, investments and jobs.

Should the name reflect our plans and hopes for the future, the pride of residents and our innovative approach?

• Your own suggestion – Please let us know any other suggestions for a theme for the name, with a short explanation.

Phase 2 of the consultation will take place in the summer, when people will be asked to select from a shortlist on the chosen theme.

The final name will then be announced towards the end of 2016, to coincide with the bridge pylon being lifted into place.

How to vote:

Vote online HERE or send your suggestions to Bridge Naming Consultation, Rm 3.105, Civic Centre, Sunderland, SR2 7DN. Voting is open until March 23.