Next steps agreed for new £14million Sunderland city centre car park

Plans for a multi-million pound car park serving Sunderland city centre have taken a step forward this week, following a decision by city leaders.
Sunderland Civic CentreSunderland Civic Centre
Sunderland Civic Centre

The multi-storey car park is earmarked for Farringdon Row as part of the Riverside Sunderland project, a new urban quarter overlooking the River Wear.

When completed, the car park will provide up to 750 spaces to help serve the development while reducing pressure on other city centre car parks such as St Mary’s.

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It also follows a recent planning application for two major new office buildings on the former Vaux site – providing some 200,000 sq ft of commercial space – by institutional investor Legal & General.

This week, Sunderland City Council’s ruling cabinet agreed to launch the process to appoint a ‘design and build contractor’ for the £14 million scheme, funding arrangements and other “relevant appointments.”

Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, cabinet member for Dynamic City, outlined the proposals at a cabinet meeting on November 17, which was held via videolink and broadcast on YouTube.

“In March 2020, council as part of our capital programme, approved the financial provision of £9million for the procurement of a design team to undertake a feasibility study to create the new multi-storey car park to support the Riverside Sunderland proposals,” she said.

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“A new city centre multi-storey car park is required to satisfy obligations within the development agreement with Legal & General to provide a minimum of 500 car park spaces for the delivery of its office development on the former Vaux site.

“The feasibility [study] has further identified up to 250 additional car park spaces to serve the wider riverside residential and commercial proposals.

“The completion of the outline designs and the additional parking space requirements will require an additional £5million capital budget allocation to execute our plans for a high quality multi-storey car park.”

Land to the east of Farringdon Row, between the southern junction with the A1231 and the River Wear to the north, was identified as the optimum location to reduce city centre congestion and ensure pedestrian priority.

The car park is being planned to include an initial 15% electric vehicles space and to operate outside of normal working hours, to help support the evening economy in the city centre.

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It is also proposed to operate through a combination of pre-paid permits and paid parking.

Cllr Atkinson added: “It is proposed that the car park will be managed and operated under an extension of existing arrangements provided across the city by the council’s own parking services team which will provide substantial income to the council.”

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