Work on a multi-million redevelopment of Sunderland railway station could start in 2019.
Sunderland City Council’s (SCC) Economic Prosperity Scrutiny Committee is due to discuss the scheme, which has been in limbo for years due to lack of funds, at a meeting at Sunderland Civic Centre on Tuesday.
SCC and public transport operator Nexus have committed more than £7m between them – about half the £13-15m construction is expected to cost.
Network Rail had promised a £3m contribution, but this was later withdrawn following a government spending review.
Despite this the council is pressing ahead with preparing designs in the hope an ‘oven ready’ project will be more likely to entice the final £6-8m needed.
If this can be done, it is hoped builders could move in sometime in the 2019/20 financial year.
Reports for the committee say the station provides a ‘mediocre entrance to the city centre’ and is a ‘long running concern for the people of the city’.
It adds: “While progress has been slow and depends largely on securing funding from Network Rail, it is hoped that development plans will materialise in the not too distant future.”
The current station opened in 1965 following redevelopment of the area after the previous station was bombed in 1943.
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service