Regeneration of '˜forgotten' city centre buildings given cash boost

Ambitious plans to revitalise a forgotten corner of Sunderland city centre have received a cash boost from a national fund.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 14:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 14:25 pm
Dave Harper outside the historic buildings in High Street West

Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust has secured £45,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund as part of its work to breathe new life into 170/1 High Street West which will house the Pop Recs culture hub on a larger scale.

The money will be used to deliver a ‘Living Classroom’ in association with Sunderland College in which apprentices will help fit out the dilapidated building.

The Trust was gifted the three abandoned terraced buildings, one of which housed the original Binns store, by Sunderland City Council in February. Historic England then funded urgent works to clear the buildings and make the area safe.

Thanks to the funding, students will be able to gain hands on experience in electrical, plumbing and joinery as part of the ongoing regeneration project.

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Pop Recs already uses one of the buildings, but the plan is to move to the larger neighbouring building to boost their arts, culture and music offering in the city.

Martin Hulse, trust manager of Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust, said: “We are overjoyed to have secured this funding. We have been in discussions with Sunderland College for 12 months in order to secure their involvement and we are delighted at the ability to deliver this skills

project.”

Dave Harper, from Pop Recs CIC, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with the young people at Sunderland College to complete this project. It really fits in with the ethos of Pop Recs, which has always been to get the community involved in everything we do. We’ve made a great start on

getting cultural activity happening in the building and look forward to doing more when the building is complete.”

The restoration will be a central element of the Heritage Action Zone and will support the new audiences being created through the Sunderland Great

Place Scheme, managed by Sunderland Culture.