Wearmouth Bridge set to be lit up for Sunderland Illuminations

Sunderland’s Wearmouth Bridge is set to light up the city for the Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light 2019.

By Faye Dixon
Sunday, 11th August 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 12th August 2019, 1:52 am

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This picture from our archive shows boys fishing under Wearmouth Bridge as it was lit up in September 1986
This picture from our archive shows boys fishing under Wearmouth Bridge as it was lit up in September 1986

The Grade II listed structure which crosses the River Wear is hoped to be lit up with temporary lighting placed in its columns.

This is part of the annual Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light. The lights on the bridge are set to last throughout the event from Monday, October 14 2019 to Friday, January 10 2020.

The Sunderland bridge has been lit as part of the illuminations event before, including in 1988.

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Councillor Amy Wilson said: “Wearmouth Bridge is one of our city’s most recognisable and well-loved landmarks.

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    “Since the Illuminations returned in 2015, they’ve proved to be incredibly popular along the seafront and a big draw for many thousands of residents and many, many visitors.

    “Many people will also re-call the spectacular fireworks on the bridge during last year’s Tall Ships event and in October it will be 90 years since the present bridge was officially opened.

    “Subject to all the planning details, lighting more of the bridge will help us celebrate one of our most loved and treasured landmarks.”

    The first Illuminations event was held back in 1935 before it was stopped in 1959, and reintroduced in 1980s and 1990s.

    In 2012, Sunderland City Council reintroduced the illuminations on a smaller scale at Roker Park which is the event we now know well. The lights proved so successful that over the following years they were extended to more locations in Roker.

    The LEDs that will be used to light the bridge up will be fixed to the columns using a metal band which will have rubber strips to protect its paintwork.

    The council have confirmed that the illumination is not considered to impact on drivers in the area and shouldn’t distract or dazzle them given that the column mounted units are decorative and have been used in similar circumstances across the UK many times.

    The level of illumination and brightness will be controlled by the local highways staff.