Sunderland City Council have announced proposals to develop cafes and restaurants on the seafront as part of an ongoing regeneration.
The City Council has been successful in reaching round five of the Coastal Communities Fund and are due to submit a more detailed bid in January 2019. The fund donates a substantial amount of money towards coastal communities, with the aim to promote a sustainable economy and provide more jobs.
The funding size is said to vary between £50,000 and £300,000, which would significantly help towards the restoration of the seafront. Councillor Stuart Porthouse, the City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said:
“All of these plans are dependent on us being successful in our bid to the Coastal Communities Fund. But we have already seen the former Seaburn shelter transformed into the popular Fat Buddha restaurant and I think there’s a great potential for other little used or redundant seafront buildings to be given a new lease of life as cafés or restaurants.”
Since 2010, around £10 million has been invested in the regeneration of Roker beach. The level of funding has allowed proposals to be put forward for developments such as beach huts along the promenade and turning the old Tram Shelter into restaurants.
The grand opening of the Fat Buddha restaurant took place in early 2016, drawing in a significant number of customers. Ray Chan, the restaurant manager, believes these new developments will ultimately benefit the region. He said:
“I think they will regenerate the area, it looks very run down at the minute especially with all the demolitions.
“Competition is not a bad thing. The area is all built-up with entertaining facilities which bring a lot of people down anyway, so when more people come down for more business, it should be a benefit.”