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Business & Economy

Architect George Clarke lights up Beacon event

Foundation of Light Trustee and architect George Clarke has urged local businesses to help build a brighter future for Sunderland by supporting the Beacon of Light.

The Wearside-born TV presenter was guest of honour at a special event calling on potential funders to back the inspirational multi-purpose facility which is currently under construction on Stadium Park next to the Stadium of Light and Aquatic Centre.

Due to open in Summer 2018 the multi-million-pound project will be the first of its kind in the country, bringing together sport and play, health and wellbeing, education and the world of work under one roof.

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“If anyone thinks this is just a sports facility, they’re wrong,” George told the Sunderland Echo. “There are other sports facilities in the region doing great things. But this isn’t just a building where people play sport, it cleverly uses sport to really change lives.

“It’s about creating a space where people can really engage.”

Earlier in the day George, who has supported the Foundation as Trustee for a number of years, visited the charity’s Little Dribblers, Football Scholarship and award-winning Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Family Learning projects and was blown away by how each has engaged and inspired their participants.

George added: “I’ve been to other football foundations and this one is the envy of them all. None of the others do what it does to that level, it’s something of which we can all be proud.”

The iconic structure has been brought to life by leading architects Faulkner Browns who gave gusts an insight into the Beacon’s unique design which will change Sunderland and the North East forever.

George said: “FaulknerBrowns have done a great job and have worked really hard with the limited funds to maximise the space.

“As an architect I believe it’s not just about what a building looks like, but what it does. And this one really will change lives.”

To find out how your business can get involved and support the exciting Beacon of Light project which will fuse together education, sport, health and well-being and the world of work like no other place in the country, email Foundation of Light CEO Lesley Spuhler at [email protected].