This is how Sunderland's Town Park will look after major facelift
This is how the heart of Sunderland city centre will look following a major facelift and improvement works.
The repairs are already underway at Sunderland Minster Churchyard and Town Park, which is a key feature of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and City Council-backed Bishopwearmouth Townscape Heritage Scheme.Altogether £700,000 is being invested in the two projects with a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £460,000 plus match-funding of £240,000 from the council. The works are part of the £1.5bn package of city-wide public and private sector investment projects that Sunderland has planned over the next five years, including half-a-billion in the city centre.In the park, which was originally the heart of Bishopwearmouth village, updates include the creation of a new central seating area on the footprint of the historic streets of Little Gate and South Gate, new granite paving, new steps to Low Row and improved lighting. An interpretation panel will also be added to explain the important history of the medieval settlement. The works to the south and east boundary walls around Sunderland Minster will complement park and open space improvements. These works include: rebuilding unstable sections, repointing in traditional lime, and replacing the modern railings with traditional cast iron railings to match the surviving historic sections. Last month it was announced that the heritage fund and the council, working with owners, were helping fund restoration works at the landmark Peacock and Dun Cow pubs. These two buildings are also part of the Bishopwearmouth Townscape Heritage Scheme.Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, the City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said: "The Town Park has been a hidden gem and these works are going to make it shine more brightly and see it enjoyed by more people. "The parks works are complementing the Minster works, we have seen the recent announcements about the Peacock and the Dun Cow, and there is more good news to come about this historic part of our city.” In total, £1.9m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund has been awarded to the council for the scheme which is set to run for five years.