Sunderland’s multimillion-pound southern train station entrance has officially opened its doors.
The transformation of the city’s new arrival point – featuring a heavily glazed fascia that looks out to Market Square in the heart of the city – has begun welcoming the public, with finishing touches being applied to the public realm surrounding the station over the next few months.
The southern entrance of the station features a large glass wrap around design and includes a new ticket office and reception, public toilets, retail space and cafes, waiting areas, as well as a new mezzanine level that has office space reserved for rail industry staff.
The project was driven by Sunderland City Council, in partnership with Network Rail, Nexus, Grand Central and Northern Rail.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “What a contrast this is to the entrance that stood here before.
“This is a significant demonstration of the ambition we have, to transform this city into a place we can all be proud of. I am delighted to see this complete.”
The southern entrance is part of a wider investment programme to transform the transport hub.
Sunderland City Council is campaigning for support for the next phases to create a massively transformed city station over the coming years, with a vision to revamp the northern entrance, as well as platform-level works to increase capacity, with four tracks and four platforms to separate Nexus and Metro from mainline services.
It is hoped the hub will create business and further investment opportunities to support the central business district and retail rejuvenation in the heart of the city.
In 2019/2020, some 1.5 million Metro trips were made from and to the station, with a further 427,000 trips made using the national rail network.
Numbers are expected to grow as the city centre becomes an economic hub and the city will require supporting infrastructure to encourage sustainable travel.
The improvements have been part-funded by the UK government’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF).
The overall TCF package for Sunderland Station improvements and associated works is £16.3m.
Construction started in May 2022 with contractor BAM delivering the project on time.
Achievements and innovations in transport infrastructure will be celebrated at the third annual CiTTi Awards, which will be held on 26 November 2024 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Nominations officially open in March 2024. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector.