Thew New Wear Crossing now known as Northern Spire.
Thew New Wear Crossing now known as Northern Spire.
Jamie Hardesty

Sunderland reveals name for new bridge across the River Wear

The name of Sunderland’s impressive new bridge across the River Wear has been unveiled as ‘Northern Spire’.

The new crossing, which is on track to open in the spring of next year, was officially named Northern Spire during an event on the bridge deck this morning (Monday), attended by council officials and the media.

The name was unveiled following a week-long public vote, where members of the community were asked to choose their favourite from a possible list of three names.

More than 10,000 votes were cast, with Northern Spire receiving almost half of the votes.

The votes were as follows:

  • Northern Spire - 49%
  • Lumen Point - 34%
  • The Prism - 17%

The list of possible names had been agreed by an independent panel, comprising of members of the Sunderland community and business fraternity.

Sunderland City Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Harry Trueman, thanked everyone who took the opportunity to vote.

He said: “I’m delighted to unveil Northern Spire as the name of Sunderland’s new bridge across the River Wear. This impressive structure is ambitious, striking and indicative of the future plans of the city and I think the new name fits it perfectly.

“Northern Spire is a strong, memorable name that will become synonymous with Sunderland. It relates to the regional significance of the new bridge, as well as the spectacular 105m central pylon, which is a welcome addition to the Sunderland skyline and which can be seen from miles away.

“Northern Spire, centrepiece of the city’s ambitious infrastructure investment programme, will be the catalyst for regeneration and further investment in Sunderland – it will play an integral part in the growth of the city in the years to come. In time, it will also become part of the city’s history, so it’s wonderful that so many people voted and played a part in that history-making.”

Ryan Rogan, Construction Manager for Farrans Construction, which formed a joint venture partnership with Victor Buyck Steel Construction to deliver the project on behalf of Sunderland City Council, said the name was a good fit.

He said: “We have worked on this project for more than two-and-half-years and have watched the bridge develop and come to life over time, and there is no doubt that it’s an imposing, striking structure. We all feel very proud to be a part of the team.

“It’s important that the name chosen matches the significance and stature of the bridge, along with the ambition of the city, and I think Northern Spire does that. The crossing has been built to last at least 120 years, and this name will definitely stand the test of time.”

The new bridge and road improvement programme is phase two of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, which is a five-phase plan to improve links between the A19 and Sunderland City Centre and the Port of Sunderland.

The Northern Spire will help reduce congestion around the city, speed up journey time for motorists and will enable a huge area of land along the south side of the River Wear to be regenerated and developed.

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