The regeneration of a key area in Sunderland, which will create thousands of homes and jobs in the city, has been included in a new masterplan. The Riverside Sunderland Masterplan – a 176-page document that details a number of projects to reimagine the area – sets out how the council will kick-start the redevelopment of an approximately 88.2-acre site on both sides of the River Wear, creating the UK’s first carbon-neutral urban quarter, building 1,000 new homes and creating office space for up to 10,000 workers.
The plans, which were underpinned by a £100m investment commitment from Legal & General, involve the construction of 1,000 sustainable homes to rent and buy in four riverside neighbourhoods housing 2,500 residents, one million sq ft of modern office space, a new city centre site for a major life sciences/ healthcare facility and the Culture House – a library and community hub – that is expected to attract 600,000 visitors a year to a new site in Keel Square.
Additionally, Sunderland City Council has outlined proposals to upgrade St Mary’s Boulevard into a new main street, transform Galley’s Gill into a landscape park and implement new smart city infrastructure.
“Riverside Sunderland will transform a part of the city that has vast potential. It’s a masterplan that will reinvigorate the city in a wider sense too – creating a place we can be proud to call the heart of Sunderland. Riverside Sunderland is just the beginning. Sunderland is springing back to life. We’re seeing more and more investment flooding into the city. The private sector is alive to the opportunities and that is bringing about transformation at a pace not seen for decades,” said Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.
“It’s a vision that we know is deliverable, and that will be truly game-changing for Sunderland. We’re aiming high because it’s what our residents deserve and it’s what the city needs – vision backed by a determination to deliver.”
Sunderland City Council’s plans are already underway, with the first wave of projects moving forward, including the construction of new City Hall and the 450-seat auditorium, part of the Fire Station arts complex.
Work will start soon on the 120-room Holiday Inn in Keel Square and a planning application has been lodged for two new buildings in the central business district that will create 200,000 sq ft of modern office space.
“Right now, the North East of England provides huge opportunities for businesses wishing to invest, with great transport links by sea and air, road and rail to all parts of the United Kingdom and indeed around the rest of the world. But now, particularly with the Riverside development, the investments by Legal & General and others, providing office space living accommodation and so much more, I encourage everybody to take a fresh look at what the city of Sunderland really is capable of providing any ambitious business,” added James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce.