New learning zone at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens approved in part of programme of improvements

Plans to turn a former gallery at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens into a ‘learning zone’ have been approved by city bosses.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 05 July, 2019, 11:45
Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

Sunderland City Council announced proposals to overhaul the centre’s Textile Gallery in May 2019 to provide space for ‘school groups, meetings, family activities and [performances]’.

The work, which was given the green light by Sunderland City Council’s South Sunderland Development Control Committee on July 1, is part of a rolling series of projects to update the museum.

Refurbishment of the reception and retail section of the Victorian building was completed last year, with the latest part of the project slated to begin in the autumn.

Coun Phil Tye, the committee’s chairman, said: “I think it’s much needed work and will be a compliment to the building we have and for the children and young people who use it.”

The new learning space is being paid for with a £156,000 grant to the city council from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Wolfson Foundation.

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Work to ‘decommission’ the former Textile Gallery was due to start in May, with exhibits planned to go into ‘special storage’, but will still be available for research, study and future exhibitions.

Artist's impression of how the new learning and activity space will look

The meeting, which lasted about six minutes, also approved proposals for a scrap yard in Pallion to be extended.

There were no objections to the plans by European Metal Recycling, in New Road, to use the site for ‘scrap metal storage and processing’.

Artist's impression of how the new learning and activity space will look