Your ideas for improving Sunderland in 2018

Clockwise from top, improving High Street East, a new urban bike park and expanded Metro links are among reader ideas for a stronger Sunderland in 2018.
Clockwise from top, improving High Street East, a new urban bike park and expanded Metro links are among reader ideas for a stronger Sunderland in 2018.

Ferry crossings, tree-lined avenues, expanded train links, more city centre office jobs, an urban bike park and free parking.

These are just some of your ideas for building a stronger Sunderland in 2018.

High Street East.

High Street East.

We asked our Facebook followers for their thoughts after the North-East Chamber of Commerce outlined its campaign to improve the region's fortunes over the next 12 months.

Major rail investment, more devolution and a positive trade deal with the European Union are among the contents of its wish list to boost the area's economy.

Looking a little closer to home, Carol Watson wrote: "The whole of the town centre needs complete redesign by someone with some artistic and create flair.

"Start out by visiting other beautiful cities overseas and get out of the box with your imagination.

The new Leeds Urban Bike Park is currently under construction.

The new Leeds Urban Bike Park is currently under construction.

"Our city is situated on a river for God’s sake there’s so much can be done. Tree lined walk ways, etc.

"Get your heads out of the concrete block. Bring High Street East to life with an old type High Street shopping theme and street cafes leading down to the fish key with a fishing theme and historical memories.

"Then from there, a ferry crossing over to St Peter's. Imagine how much money that would bring in?

"Never design a street without an attractive destination. Come on get real, plan something big. Then go all out for the money for it."

Improved Metro links are among your ideas.

Improved Metro links are among your ideas.

Stephen Harrison added: "Reinstate regional development agencies. Get out-of-town call centre jobs into the town centres.

"Develop riverside areas and attract businesses by offering no/low rates."

Steve Brennan said: "Expand the Metro system to include Durham and the rest of Sunderland. Make it easy to travel round the North East."

Popular business to breathe new life into Sunderland's Winter Gardens cafe

Heather Addison insisted: "Stop turning everything into student accommodation."

Margaret Crosby wrote: "Encourage more small businesses to apply for business rate relief to save money. Lots don't know they can claim it, despite the council having lists of who is eligible."

David Owen commented: "Business incentives to bring big business into the city centre.

"Banking admin, IT, gov, media, etc, etc, are all prime candidates for looking to reduce costs and we should be attracting them with super low local taxation."

Seeking inspiration from a new scheme 90 miles south of the city, John Paul Thompson said: "Investment in a bike park like Leeds Council have with the Leeds Urban Bike Park."

Needless to say, some of your ideas referred to other ongoing concerns across the city.

Graeme Wharton offered the following: "Go back to weekly bin collections....that'll get em in."

Bringing the football team into the equation, Tom Shoulder quipped: "A goalkeeper. two goalscoring forwards and a couple of defenders."

What are your ideas for building a stronger Sunderland in 2018? Why not email a letter to echo.letters@northeast-press.co.uk?