As the landmark Beacon of Light emerges from land adjacent to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, the driving force behind the city’s newest iconic structure is eager for Wearsiders to understand the purpose of the striking, six-storey building.
The £18m development has been designed by award winning architects Faulkner Brown and is being built by northeast based Tolent Construction.
The basic structure of the building, which will be illuminated at night, is now in place and work on the 3,600m2 roof has begun and is expected to be completed in about eight weeks.
Sir Bob Murray CBE, Chair of Trustees of the Foundation of Light said: “The Beacon of Light is certainly getting lots of people talking but many people are still unsure about what it is.
It will include a mix of education, employment and skills training as well as sports and wellbeing facilities for young and old.
There will be world-class facilities for 12 sports, and spaces for live events alongside opportunities to get further education or training with leading names like Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food and Arriva plc.
“The centre will also offer health and wellness MOTs as well as opportunities to improve lifestyle from advice on good nutrition to support with weight management and smoking.
The Beacon will be a first for the UK and will be a real asset for the city. It will be a centre for people of all ages and from all backgrounds and not for elite sports men and women. It has been developed to provide opportunities for local people and we expect to welcome thousands through its doors every week.
“While many community and social services have been cut back in recent years due to austerity cuts, this is our bright and positive vision for the future.
“By combining all these facilities in one place the Foundation believes it will attract and inspire even more people to learn more, do more and be more. And in some cases, it will literally transform lives.”