Matthew Neville

Plans unveiled for £80m new leisure development in the heart of Sunderland

Sunderland city centre is set for a range of new leisure additions, with early plans for a large-scale arena and events space revealed for Riverside Sunderland.

Sunderland City Council has set out its vision for the site of the former Crowtree Leisure Centre, with plans for a massive leisure investment anchored by a new 10,000-capacity, multi-purpose arena, that will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city every year.

As well as this large indoor arena, the multi-use leisure development will feature a food hall, restaurants, a hotel, and studios, together forming a unique destination that will “have something for everyone”.

The council is working with a range of partners to deliver the project, including a UK based industry-leading operator to shape the plans.

The project has already attracted over £20m in funding from Sunderland City Council and national Government and will move into advanced design stages if Sunderland’s Cabinet signs off the proposed budget for the scheme.

Together with transformational projects that are underway and planned for the former Vaux Brewery site and Sheepfolds, the arena plans mark an ambitious new phase in Sunderland’s city centre evolution, which council bosses say is about creating an experience-led destination.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The rate of transformation in our city points to the level of regeneration we are delivering for Sunderland, and this development raises that bar higher”.

“We set out an ambition to bring more experiences to the city as part of our Riverside Sunderland investment strategy, and you only have to look at the change to date in the city centre to see that it is more than an aspiration – it’s something we’re determined to make a reality”.

“We’re transforming Sunderland, we’re delivering on our promises to residents, and we’re proud to be spearheading a programme of change in Sunderland that is unlike any period of change in living memory. This new investment will be an incredible addition to the city centre.”

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