Landmark Sunderland city centre buildings to be restored to former glories
Two landmark groups of listed buildings are set to be restored to their former glories after securing six-figure grants.
Mackie's Corner and 170-175 High Street West, which are both in Sunderland's Historic High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HAZ), have been awarded £350,000 each through a partnership grant scheme funded by Sunderland City Council and Historic England.
The cash will fund structural and external repairs and improvements including roof and stonework repairs plus the reinstatement of architectural details and features such as traditional shop fronts and windows.
Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, the council’s cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: "It will be fabulous to see the exterior of these historic buildings being restored as each has a very special place in our city's history.
“Mackie's Corner was for a long time a favourite meeting place for generations of Sunderland people while 170 -175 High Street West was once home to the city's first ever Binns department store.
"Both have been largely vacant and deteriorating for many years until they were acquired by new owners and, although they're considered to be at-risk, they offer huge regenerative potential, particularly for this part of the city centre which is about to see the reopening of the Elephant Tea Rooms as the city's local history library."
Jules Brown, historic places advisor for Historic England, added: "These two historic places form part of Sunderland’s proud past and will now play a significant role in its future.
“Bringing these buildings back to life will help rejuvenate the city centre, making it a place that local people want to visit and where businesses have the opportunity to thrive."
Work is due to begin in January and take up to six months.
Martin Hulse, trust manager at the Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust (TWBPT), which owns 170-175 High Street West, home of Pop Recs, said: "It is important that these three terraced buildings are rescued and brought back to life.
“They help tell the story of Sunderland and when completed will bring activity and delight back to the historic centre of the city.
Henry Kirtley and Alex Kirtley, owners of Hutchinson’s Buildings and Mackie’s Corner, said in a statement: "We are looking forward to getting work started on Mackie’s Corner & bringing a different offer to Sunderland city centre."We want to create an independent hub with mixed uses in for business to thrive once again in this iconic building."