Residents will be able to find out more about plans for a heritage and visitor centre and a garden centre at the former Elemore Golf Course at an open day next week.

Sunderland City Council is currently developing plans to transform the 60-hectare former golf course in the Hetton ward of the city, into a country park. As part of ongoing consultation with the community, residents are being invited to attend an open day at the site next Thursday 1 July, from 1pm.

Councillor Linda Williams, Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, said: “We’re really excited about the plans for Elemore which have come out of listening to residents about what they want to see on the site.

“The project is all about creating useable green space for the community as well as protecting the natural habitat for future generations which is why we started off by asking residents what they like about Elemore and what they would like to see changed.

“More than 150 people have already fed into the plans through our Let’s Talk Elemore consultation and their views have helped shape proposals for the site. The feedback we’ve had so far has been really positive and we’d encourage everyone who is interested in the site to come along to the open day next week, from 1pm, to find out more about the nature and heritage of the site and the plans for the country park.”

Plans for the site include:

– a garden centre and café
– a heritage, interpretation and visitor centre
– improvements to the Stephenson Trail including the possible installation of a miniature railway along the lines of the historic Hetton Railway at the entrance to the trail
– an ecozone aimed at protecting and enhancing existing habitats
– country walks with seating, bird hides, sculpture and additional interpretation
– camping/glamping facilities
– a natural play playground
– a livestock area which could be used as a visitor attraction

In March this year, Sunderland City Council approved £500,000 of capital funding to support the development of Elemore. This is in addition to £100,000 allocated to the project by the Coalfield Area Committee from their Neighbourhood Capital Programme and £50,000 to develop the adjacent Stephenson trail. The City Council’s East and West Area Committees have also each allocated £50,000 to develop the east and west sections of the Stephenson trail which stretches from Elemore to Sunderland Riverside.

Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Council Leader of Sunderland City Council who as lead member for the project, chairs the Elemore Project Group, said: “It’s been brilliant working with local residents on the plans for this site and hearing how they think it should be transformed. I’m especially keen that this project builds on the rich heritage of the area and also that we build in a social enterprise and training element so that local residents can be part of the site’s journey.”

The open day is being held on Thursday 1 July 2021 between 1pm and 4pm at Elemore Lane, adjacent to the former clubhouse. Anyone planning to attend is being advised to dress for the weather as the event is being held outdoors in the car park of the former clubhouse.

Residents can also give their views through Lets Talk Elemore –

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