Sunderland’s residents are to have the chance to hear about exciting new plans to revitalise the city’s historic Minster Quarter.

It is hoped that these plans will be made possible via a Townscape Heritage Scheme – such schemes supply Lottery cash to help rejuvenate urban areas.

All will be revealed in a city centre event on Tuesday 23rd January. The event will start at 1.00 pm in Town Park (next to Sunderland Minster).

In order to explain the Townscape Heritage Scheme, the event will kick off with a walk and talk led by Jules Brown from the North of England Civic Trust and Judith Miller and Mark Taylor from Sunderland City Council. 

Sunderland City Council has reached the second stage of a £2 million bid to the National Heritage Lottery Fund to help restore historic buildings around Sunderland Minster, the Empire Theatre and Town Park.

If the council’s bid should prove successful, the council hopes to begin a five-year restoration project this summer.

At Tuesday’s event, people can find out more about plans for revitalising Town Park and learn about which buildings have been selected for renovation and about the wider regeneration of the area.

People can also find out about some heritage-related community activities that will be running as part of the scheme. 

After the walk, there will be an opportunity to go for tea and coffee in the upstairs events space of The Peacock pub, where there will be a further chance to ask questions.

Please note that the first floor of The Peacock can only be accessed by a staircase and there is no lift.

Dun Cow from lane
Church Lane, Sunderland, with the Dun Cow pub in the background

Sunderland City Council’s cabinet secretary, Cllr Mel Spedding, 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 are restored through a Townscape Heritage partnership with the National Lottery Fund.”

“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.”

The Bishopswearmouth Conservation Area – part of which is covered by the site for the scheme – was one of the three original settlements that came together to form Sunderland and one of the first parts of the city to be declared a conservation area.

Evidence can still be seen of the medieval origins of Bishopswearmouth and the area also contains a wealth of Georgian and Victorian buildings. Well-known landmarks include the grade-II-listed Empire Theatre, Sunderland Minster and The Peacock. (Formerly the Londonderry and Dun Cow public houses.) 

(The featured image shows the Sunderland Empire)

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