Launch of £250,000 appeal to save Sunderland's historic Doxford Gateway

A £250,000 appeal has been launched to save Sunderland's historic Doxford Shipyard Gateway.

Monday, 30th October 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:11 pm
Former Doxford Shipyard gatehouse.

The Echo reported last week that the derelict building off Woodbine Terrace is due to be demolished as part of work on the third stage of Sunderland’s Strategic Transport Corridor.

The gateway is to make way for a dual carriageway which will link the New Wear Crossing into the city centre and Port of Sunderland.

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The scheme’s budget allows for saving the gates and archway from the building, which will be moved to a new location.

But a Facebook page and petition, Save Doxford’s West Gateway, has been set up by campaigners who want to see the whole building preserved and moved.

One suggestion is that it could become a shipbuilding heritage centre.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for City Services Coun Michael Mordey said the building was in such a poor state that the council could not justify spending public cash to save it but, ‘if individuals or groups want to come forward with realisable plans and funding for re-locating not just the arches and gates, but the entire building, the council would offer its support for their endeavours.’

Now one man has taken up the challenge and launched an appeal.

Lee Anderson has set up a crowd-funding page with the aim of raising a quarter of a million pounds to pay for the entire building to be preserved.

“I just saw the stuff about the building on-line,” he said.

“I saw the petition and started interacting with the guys on Facebook, saying ‘Maybe we should start a crowd funding page, just to test the water’,” he said.

“I have been down to the building a couple of times when I have been to the Sunderland Wall but I think a lot of people don’t even realise it is there.

“It looks as if people have got in and damaged the building.”

It was unreasonable to expect the council to foot the bill for moving the entire building, he said, with the budget for the road scheme having been set by Whitehall.

“We have got to do what we can,” said Lee, 40, who works for Royal Mail.

“If people really want to save it, it can happen - just imagine if everybody in Sunderland gave just one pound.

“People need to get involved with this thing.”