THE BEACON OF LIGHT passed important milestone this week when it secured full planning approval from Sunderland City Council.
Chair of Trustees of the Foundation, Sir Bob Murray commented: “The Beacon of Light will be a game-changer for the Foundation of Light and catalyst for so much that we want to achieve in the next decade. The Foundation already works with more than 40,000 people every year, and the Beacon will significantly expand our work and the number of lives we can touch.
“I have always been a passionate advocate of the power of education to change lives and the power of football to inspire and motivate people. The Beacon will epitomise this vision and fuse together sport, education, the world of work and health and well-being like no other place in the UK.
The Beacon received more good news when the Home and Communities Agency (HCA) also confirmed the land transaction has been approved in principle with heads of terms being exchanged. The HCA has worked closely with the Foundation over the last year to bring about the land deal for the unique development.
Sir Bob Murray added: “We are immensely grateful to the Home and Communities Agency for their visionary approach and support for the Beacon of Light development.
“The landmark development will make a real difference to the lives of thousands of people and the Home and Communities Agency demonstrated a real enthusiasm and keenness to invest in the city from the outset. I would like to thank them for going the extra mile and showing great commitment to the project. Like us, they want to see the Beacon of Light become a reality.
Contractors for the new development have now been shortlisted and tender documents issued. It is envisaged that work on the Beacon will start in spring 2016, which will then trigger the unconditional release of the land from the HCA. The venue is expected to welcome over 300,000 people through its doors every year.
The £16.5m striking cube-shaped development, designed by leading architecture practice FaulknerBrowns, will be the first building of its kind in the UK and house education and training facilities with an indoor football pitch above.
The Beacon will give us an important platform to expand our pioneering programmes and to extend our work into exciting new areas. We are thrilled that our vision is one step closer.
The Beacon is attracting a lot of attention and we’re delighted so many individuals and organisations are keen to get involved.
Lesley Spuhler, Foundation of Light CEO
The award winning Foundation of Light was established in 2001 and uses the power of football to educate, inspire and motivate. One of the largest and leading sports charities in the UK, it has an excellent track record of working with children, young people and their families.