'Exciting' times for Sunderland as £1.5billion vision starts to take shape, say city leaders

City leaders have hailed the latest steps in a ‘£1.5billion programme of investment’ for Sunderland.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th August 2019, 4:45 pm
Developments are taking place across Sunderland, say city leaders

This week has seen two major developments approved on Wearside in the form of the Stack leisure complex in Seaburn and a £16million hotel scheme for the city centre’s Keel Square.

And the green light decision came hot on the heels of the announcement that high-end online supermarket Ocado would be setting up a new base in the BEAM building, on the Vaux site.

“Sunderland’s seaside is the jewel in its crown, but for some time, it has been an unpolished gem,” said Sunderland City Council deputy leader Michael Mordey.

The BEAM at the Vaux site

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“There has been a significant effort made by the council to attract the investment that Seaburn requires and [the Stack decision] shows that hard work is starting to bear fruit.

“The arrival of Stack, alongside the significant investment we have already attracted in both Roker and Seaburn means that we are very quickly creating a place that will not only be hugely attractive to residents, but will become a magnet for visitors too.

“This is a very exciting part of a £1.5billion programme of investment that will transform our seaside, city centre and surrounding areas over the next decade.”

Artist's impression of how the STACK will look

City councillors granted temporary planning permission for eight years, with bosses behind the attraction suggesting it could lead to more permanent development.

Approved plans for a 120-bedroom Holiday Inn are predicted to create about 130 jobs.

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), said: “Sunderland is growing a reputation as a city to watch, with investment flowing in from both the public and private sector.

“The addition of Ocado as a business, and this latest announcement of the approval of a new hotel on Keel Square really does represent a step-change for the city centre.

Artist's impression of how the new Keel Square Hotel will look

“With more investment coming with the build of City Hall, there is a sense of momentum building and that will bring with it hundreds of new jobs, and with them spending power to positively impact on the city centre both during the day, as well as after work.”