Royal visit for Sunderland’s new bridge and culture hub

Written by on 10th February 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Williams and Kate Middleton, will visit Sunderland later this month when they visit the city’s new bridge, Northern Spire. 

Their Royal Highnesses will be introduced to some of the workers involved in the bridge’s three year construction during their visit on Wednesday 21st February.

The royal couple, who are expecting their third child later in the year, will cross the landmark bridge and meet with local schoolchildren.

Kate and Wills, will also officially open the new centre of culture in Sunderland as they visit the Old Fire Station development off High Street West.

The area which became derelict after the fire station closed in the 1990’s has been transformed into a new cultural hub for the city’s artist and musicians.

The royal visit then travels to Pallion as the couple visit Sunderland new  £117.6m road bridge across the River Wear which is on track to open this Spring.

The bridge is the biggest civil engineering project in the North East and on completion, around 2,000 people will have worked on the project which equates to around 900,000 man-hours.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Doris MacKnight, said: “I’m delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Sunderland to see our striking new bridge.”

“I understand The Duke of Cambridge takes a keen interest in engineering so I hope he will find it really interesting.”

“This is a project that’s of massive significance to everyone in Sunderland and across the North East, bringing with it significant economic, regeneration and transport benefits to our city and the wider North East region. ”

Northern Spire has already become a major landmark on the Sunderland skyline with its distinctive A-frame pylon which at 105meters tall, stands higher than Big Ben’s clock tower.

The bridge is part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor, which is hoped will reduce congestion around the city, improve journey times and be a source of pride and inspiration for Sunderland’s future generations.

The bridge has been built by Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck Steel Construction, which formed a joint venture to deliver the bridge on behalf of Sunderland City Council.

Meanwhile, the new fire station at the old Dun Cow  pub site will be lasting legacy from the City of Culture Bid as the new “centre of culture” hosting arts and music programmes.

The Sunderland Arts, Music and Culture quarter, also houses a new bar and bistro, The Engine Room.

Featured image from PA/Press Association. 

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