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Business & Economy

Sunderland’s seafront transformation takes step forward

Plans to transform Sunderland’s seafront using £820,000 of the Government’s coastal communities fund are moving forward as the City Council’s cabinet plans to discuss the proposals later today (July 16).

The news comes following the success of a joint bid by Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Culture to convert under-used seafront buildings into new cafes and restaurants to support the growth of the city’s cultural sector.

The £820,000 grant funding contribution will allow the council to convert the old tram shelter and former bay shelter at Seaburn into a mix of cafes and restaurants, which coincides with proposals for Sunderland’s very own shipping container village, similar to Stack Newcastle.

The plans also include the building of 12 beach huts on the Seaburn promenade, as well as upgrading the infrastructure for tourists at Seaburn Camp.

The Sunderland Seafront Trust will be expanded to manage these assets, with a view to reinvesting the money generated back into the seafront area.

Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “These transformed buildings, together with the beach huts and improved caravan facilities will be another great addition to our seaside, complementing what’s already there and the plans for the Seaburn Stack later this year.

“It’s all part of our ongoing efforts to make the most of our beautiful beaches and seafront, which have seen £10m invested in the regeneration of the seafront since 2010.”

“We believe the expansion of the charitable seafront trust, whose volunteers already run the popular pier and lighthouse tours, will also make a real difference and the next steps are to develop the full business plan and operating model.”

Danieli Holdings, the company behind Newcastle Stack, plans on bringing the tried and tested concept to Seaburn and has submitted a planning and licensing application for a leisure space in the area.

The development, which is constructed using shipping containers, would feature food, drink and entertainment, with a range of activities such as crazy golf, darts, pool, and table tennis.

The plans also include a function room, which could be used for parties and weddings.

Neill Winch, director at Danieli Holdings, who is from Sunderland, said: “The Stack concept is about creating vibrant, flexible spaces that can be enjoyed by everyone.

“Much like Newcastle, we want this Stack to be a relaxed, creative environment, with activities, food, drinks and music that appeals to people of all ages – given we’ll be on the seaside, we’ll be gearing the offer towards families, to give them a space that will keep little ones entertained just as much as it will adults.

“We have been really keen to move forward with a Stack development in my home-city of Sunderland for some time, so we’re delighted to be able to agree a deal that will see us open our doors in Seaburn.”