Learn about £2million project to breathe new life into historic buildings of Sunderland's Minster quarter

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Wearsiders have the chance to learn more about the bid to breathe new life into historic buildings in Sunderland's Minster quarter.

Sunderland City Council has won through to the second stage of a £2million bid to the National Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help restore historic buildings around Sunderland Minster, the Empire Theatre and Town park and if successful hopes to start the five year project this summer.

An old picture of Sunderland Empire

An old picture of Sunderland Empire

The event on Tuesday 23 January begins at 1pm in Town Park - next to Sunderland Minster - with a walk and talk around Bishopwearmouth to explain the Townscape Heritage Scheme.

The walk will be led by Jules Brown from the North of England Civic Trust, and Judith Miller and Mark Taylor from the City Council.

People will be able to find out more about plans for improving and revitalising Town Park, some of the buildings being targeted for repair and restoration grants under the scheme and the benefits for the buildings themselves and the wider regeneration of the area.

There is also the chance to find out about some of the heritage-related community activities in which people can get involved during the five year scheme.

View down Church Lane as it is today

View down Church Lane as it is today

At the end of the walkabout there is also the opportunity to go for tea and coffee and ask further questions about the scheme at the upstairs events space at the Peacock Pub, the Edwardian interior of which has recently been sensitively refurbished.

It follows on from the work already done in the area, including the refurbishment of the Dun Cow and The Peacock, as well as the redevelopment of the Old Sunderland Fire Station into a culture hub.

Councillor Mel Speding, Sunderland City Council's cabinet secretary, said: "We were delighted to secure initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the scheme last year and we've been doing a lot of work since then to come up with detailed proposals which we'll be submitting as a second stage bid.

"We're very proud of our heritage in Sunderland. This scheme will allow us to see some of the beautiful buildings and historic spaces in the Bishopwearmouth conservation area restored through a Townscape Heritage partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Church Lane, Sunderland with the Dun Cow pub in the background - how it used to look

Church Lane, Sunderland with the Dun Cow pub in the background - how it used to look

"This event is an opportunity for people to come along and find out more about the plans and how they can get involved in helping make it happen if we are successful in winning funding."

Access to the first floor of the Peacock can only be obtained via the internal staircase, there is no lift access.

High Street West in the Minster Quarter

High Street West in the Minster Quarter