Sunderland city centre car park set to close to make way for new £36million eye hospital

Drivers are being warned a Sunderland city centre car park is to close in the new year as building work on a new eye hospital is set to get underway.

Livingstone Road car park, which has around 150 spaces, will close in the New Year, on January 3, as work advances on the new £36million health facility in the city centre.

It will be replaced by a new 650 space multi-storey car park at Farringdon Row, which is set to open in April.

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The new car park has easy access into the city centre and will assist in encouraging turnover and usage of parking spaces in the city to ensure there is sufficient car parking capacity available for everyone.

Farringdon Row car park, which is set to open in April next year

Livingstone Road car park will be transformed into new eye hospital for the region, replacing the existing Sunderland Eye Infirmary building on Queen Alexander Road, which is now over 75 years old.

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The new eye hospital is part of the council-led Riverside Sunderland plan that is bringing a raft of new developments to the city.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Anyone visiting our city centre will see that the transformation is happening at pace, with old buildings making way for new, and a raft of new infrastructure including parking provision rising from the ground.

“As we push ahead with plans to deliver a reinvigorated city centre, there will be a number of

changes to existing infrastructure and provision. The benefits to the heart of the city will be great, and as part of our wider infrastructure investment there will be a net increase in the number of car parking spaces across the city centre as many of our developments open their doors.”

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Plans for the eye hospital include an expanded Cataract Treatment Centre, with non-clinical accommodation moving to the building’s top floor, with the facility hoping to employ up to 342 staff by 2030.

According to the planning application for the hospital, the NHS is facing a national backlog and long waiting lists, partly due to the number of planned treatments postponed or cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the hope that the new eye hospital will play a part in tackling the issue.