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Aerial image of Riverside Sunderland June 2021

Aerial footage capturing the transformation of Sunderland’s city centre has been released by the council, as City Hall nears completion. 

The stunning drone video features the fast-changing landscape at Riverside Sunderland, with fly-arounds showing how the site is expanding the footprint of the city centre.  For residents who have been away from the High Street during lockdown, the footage will give a glimpse of the changes they will see when they return to the heart of Sunderland as restrictions ease further over the coming weeks. 

The video – showing The Beam, City Hall and the nearby Keel Square Hotel - has been shared on social media by @InvestSundUK, shining a light on the scale of change in the city, as the council-led Riverside Sunderland delivery plan moves forward. 

The pace of change is set to accelerate further with work expected to start on a number of major schemes including a new footbridge connecting the former Vaux site to Sheepfolds, as well as the first of two Legal & General-backed office buildings and a new multi-storey car park. The developments will stand alongside homes that will also start to rise from the ground at Riverside Sunderland within weeks. 

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The views this video shows are absolutely breath-taking – it shows parts of the city that many people who live, work and play here will never have seen before; assets like our riverside, an unpolished gem that we intend to help shine like never before over the coming months and years. 

“The city centre is absolutely transforming, and I am determined that Riverside Sunderland is the catalyst for the wider regeneration of the heart of Sunderland. Thousands of people will work at Riverside Sunderland, and hundreds more will call it home within the next few years. The rate of change is rapid and the impact it will have on the wider city centre footprint will be unprecedented. 

“Anyone looking at this footage who has doubted our commitment to transforming the city centre will see just how quickly and significantly it is changing. It’s happening fast and we’re immensely proud of the world-class location we’re creating in the heart of the city, as well as programmes that are delivering similar change elsewhere in Sunderland – from Seaburn to Washington.”

The new buildings captured in the video are part of the Riverside Sunderland Masterplan, which sets out a transformational vision to create a vibrant, mixed-use site.  The plans will see 1,000 new homes for up to 2,500 new residents arrive on Riverside Sunderland, as well as a range of new places to enjoy – including parkland both sides of the river, and ‘the UK’s best library’, Culture House. It will boost the number of people living and working in the heart of the city, creating a stronger daytime and evening economy by doubling the resident population of the city centre from 2,500 to 5,000 and increasing employment by 50% to 18,000.