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Sunderland looking for £300m investment into city centre

Councillors in Sunderland will meet on Wednesday (March 27) to discuss how council investment must act as a ‘catalyst’ that attracts £300m of private sector investment into its city centre by 2030.

Full details of the city centre vision have not been released, but Sunderland City Council say they want to will build on the momentum of Vaux, a brownfield regeneration on the site of a former brewery, and transform the heart of the city into Sunderland’s ‘economic and cultural driver.’

The council say they hope to work with private sector investors to create more city centre housing, a stronger food and drink offer, a new riverside crossing to better connect the city centre, and further the regeneration of the city’s historic buildings.

Council Leader Graeme Miller, said: ‘We want the city centre to be a place our residents can be proud of, as well as somewhere that people want to live, work and spend time in.’

‘A declining high street – that reflects the same challenges faced by towns and cities across the country – has left Sunderland in need of investment and though we are seeing green shoots of revival, we have to fast-track the city centre’s transformation.’

‘We will stimulate confidence in the market by taking brave and bold decisions – decisions like investing in VAUX, and making it as easy as possible for investors to follow suit. We have to be ambitious for Sunderland city centre. We’re developing a vision that is just that – that capitalises on investment to date, and attracts more.’

‘City centres have to adapt and diversify if they’re going to survive and this is all about breathing new life into heart of our city and giving it a renewed sense of purpose and vitality.’

Last month, the city was dealt a blow after Nissan confirmed that it would be moving production of one of its new vehicles to Japan after originally planning to build the X-Trail at its plant in Sunderland.

Responding to the announcement, Graeme Miller said ‘anything that affects longer-term investment in the plant is obviously a cause for concern’.

‘Although Nissan says it has taken the move to consolidate and produce the X-Trail in Japan for business reasons, it has also pointed to the continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU as not being helpful,’ said Cllr Miller.

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