The changing face of Sunderland: 15 multi-million-pound projects which have taken shape in the city over the past decade

Here we look at some of the multi-million-pound projects which have taken shape in Sunderland over the past 10 years.

By Ross Robertson
Wednesday, 06 March, 2019, 16:43

Despite the funding cuts and gloomy financial times, projects across the city have new buildings on out skyline and impressive new facilities for Wearsiders. Here are 15 projects which have helped improve Sunderland over the past 10 years.

Last year finally saw the opening of the New Wear Crossing, improving access, boosting business links and providing a beautiful new landmark in the city.
Despite times being tight, money was still found to build a new leisure centre in Washington to replace the rundown facilities and trouble-hit pool, helping keep people fit, healthy and entertained.
Work is almost complete on THE BEAM, the first building on the Vaux Site, and proposals have been put forward for a new public sector hub to replace Sunderland Civic Centre on the site.
It is welcome progress after wrangles with Tesco held up development for a decade, with the credit crunch and ensuing austerity causing even more problems for city leaders keen to see regeneration at the Vaux Site.
Sunderlands seafront has been transformed with bustling new businesses in wonderful new buildings, improvements to the promenade, restorations of Roker Pier and lighthouse, and public art installations.
The tired-looking shopping area was given a new lease of life when Tesco agreed to release the Vaux Site and build a new store north of the river instead, bringing with it other improvements to the surrounding units and estate.
The lack of hotel accomodation in the city was a big bugbear a decade ago, with Sunderland losing out as visitors stayed elsewhere. The Hilton Doubletree, new Travelodge and Premier Inn are among those to open in the past 10 years.
An amazing development in this beautiful old building in the city centre, housing a music and arts hub and The Engine Room bar and eatery.

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Schools across the city have been rebuilt or remodelled to provide new nurturing environments for young people to learn and prepare for their futures, as well as facilities for communities on their doorsteps.
A 19million-pound landmark home for the Foundation of Light, split into four zones: education, health and wellbeing, sport and play, and the world of work. Among its sports facilities are six 3G pitches and a sports hall.
Barnes Park reopened in 2011 after a 3.5million-pound improvement scheme. A treehouse-themed play area, woodland walk, new lake bridge, and restored bandstand were some of the highlights.
11.86million was spent remodelling St Marys Way and Livingstone Road into a more attractive tree-lined boulevard aimed at both improving its appearance and improving access into the city centre.
The 11million-pound sport and leisure facility at Sunderland Universitys Chester Road campus opened in 2009 in an impressive new building, complete with an indoor climbing wall as its focal point.
The 3million new public space for Sunderland opened in August 2015, complete with fountains and public art. It has already hosted the ice rink, Christmas lights switch-ons and the start of the Sunderland 10k and Half Marathon.
It has not all been good news, but the city centre has seen many changes over the past decade, with environmental improvements, the redevelopment of Sunniside, and the new Primark store and The Bridges entrance.
Giving students a comfortable, attractive new space to learn, as well as providing community facilities to people in the city centre, the new Sunderland College Campus in Park Lane is another great resource to open in the past few years.