Do you want to name the new Sunderland bridge?

Photo by: John William Ridley.
Photo by: John William Ridley.

Sunderland City Council have asked for Wearsiders’ help to name the new Wear Crossing bridge. 

The bridge will be an important new landmark for the city.

There are two stages to the public consultation.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council said: “Phase one will determine the theme for the name, as we thought that simply asking residents to pick a name out of nowhere would result in too many suggestions for us to choose from, so people will be asked to vote for their favourite theme first.

“Once we have agreed on a general theme, we will produce a shortlist of possible names for the bridge.

“Phase 2 of the naming consultation will begin in the summer, and that’s when people will be asked to vote for their favourite name.”

The themes for selection are: history and heritage, features, appearance or location of the bridge, forward thinking and aspirational and your own suggestion.

The history and heritage theme asks if the bridge should be named to reflect the city’s past achievements; thefeatures, appearance and location of the bridge theme asks whether the new bridge should include Sunderland in the name, and whether it should reference the River Wear and the coastline.

The forward thinking and aspirational theme asks whether the bridge’s name should reflect the city’s plans and hopes for the future, the pride of residents and its innovative approach.

If people wish to contribute their own suggestion then they can let the council know with a short explanation.

New Wear Crossing project director David Abdy said: “Choosing a name for something as important as this is always difficult.

“It needs to be original, positive, easily pronounced, stand the test of time and, ideally, be different to any other bridge names.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what theme the people of Sunderland think we should use when developing the shortlist.”

Phase 2 of the consultation will take place in the summer, when people will be asked to select from a shortlist on the chosen theme.

The final name will then be announced towards the end of 2016 to coincide with the bridge pylon being lifted into place.

The bridge, as part of a wider strategic transport plan, will help regenerate the area, relieve congestion and attract new jobs and investment to Sunderland.

Coun Paul Watson said: “The new bridge will have far-reaching benefits for the city and the wider region. I’m excited about the possibilities it will bring to Sunderland and also finding out what people think it should be called.

“The people of Sunderland have been waiting a long time for this bridge. They’ve been very supportive during the construction process so far, and it’s vital that we include as many people as possible when choosing a name.

“We successfully used a public vote to help us choose a name for Keel Square, which has become an award-winning landmark in our city centre, and hopefully a name for the bridge will be just as well accepted by our residents and the wider community.”

You can vote online here or by posting your vote to Bridge Naming Consultation, Rm 3.105, Civic Centre, Sunderland, SR2 7DN

Voting is open until March 23.

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