Some things the New York Times forgot to mention in its portrayal of Wearside:
1. Washington Old Hall - the ancestral home of the first American president and the manor house from which his family took its name. William de Hertburne changed his name to William de Wessyngton when he assumed tenancy from the Bishop of Durham.
The now ‘Washington family’ moved south to Sulgrave Manor in 1613 and 1656 John Washington emigrated to Virginia. He was George Washington’s great-grandfather.
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2. The Stadium of Light - owned by American Ellis Short and, perhaps, the ultimate symbol of Sunderland’s post 1980s renaissance. Built on the site of the former Wearmouth Colliery, it’s good enough for the like of the Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and, of course, Beyonce.
3. The University of Sunderland - another example of how Sunderland has emerged from the shadow of its industrial past. Built on a former shipyard site, the University’s St Peter’s Campus attracts students from all over the world.
4. Sunderland College - the £29million City Campus, next to Park Lane, will become the college’s hub for professional and technical courses, bringing 2,000 learners and more than 120 employees into the heart of the city centre.
5. Vaux - Siglion is set to start work shortly on its vision to transform the former brewery site into a new ‘mini Doxford,’ a business park in the heart of the city.
Sunderland City Council has granted permission for phase one of the development and outline permission for Siglion’s masterplan for the rest of the 5.5-hectare site, which will feature streets, shops, cafes and restaurants with public spaces with views of the River Wear and Sunderland’s bridges.
6. The seafront - miles of magnificent beaches and the perfect stage for the Sunderland International Airshow which brings hundreds of thousands of people to the people each summer. Artist L S Lowry fell in love with Sunderland seashore and spent holidays at the Seaburn Hotel, painting the beach, ports and coal mines. The seafront has been extensively refurbished and Siglion has plans for more.
7. The International Advanced Manufacturing Park - being developed on the border of Sunderland and South Tyneside as a part of the City Deal agreement between the two loacal authorities, the IAMP aims to create more than 5,000 high-quality jobs and attract more than £300million in private investment.
8. Winter Gardens and Mowbray Park - the Millennium Dome that worked, the Winter Gardens is a stunning part of the refurbishment of Sunderland Museum, and replaces the original, destroyed by a mine during the Second World War. It is home to more than 1,500 flowers and plants. Mowbray Park is one of the oldest public parks in the country and was created after a health inspector recommended building a leafy area in the town after the cholera epidemic of 1831. Work to restore it to its former glory began in 1994, funded by a £3.3million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the park officially reopened in 2000.
9. Future Technology Centre - the £4.48million Future Technology Centre, near Nissan, aims to be a world centre of excellence for the creation of low carbon technology. Located in the heart of the A19 Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Corridor Enterprise Zone, the centre is owned and managed by Gateshead College, which has ploughed in more than £2million to match a grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.
10. Sunderland Empire and the Cultural Quarter - the Empire has brought West End quality shows to the North East since it reopened after a £4.5million redevelopment in 2004.
Recent big hitters have included Wicked, War Horse, The Lion King and Billy Elliott. The Mac Trust has ambitious plans to turn the nearby old fire station into an arts centre and has won national acclaim for its refurbishment of the Dun Cow.