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‘Revealing Future Plans for Sunderland Pavilion’

Plans have been put forth for a striking ‘pavilion’ structure and exhibition space in Sunderland city center, featuring a large screen to watch major events. The proposed ‘Sunderland Pavilion’ at Keel Square is planned to be a contemporary exhibition and immersive space, serving as the centerpiece for Expo Sunderland – a series of events celebrating innovation and ambition in the city until 2026.

The structure aims to explore the future home beyond 2030 and replace the existing digital screen with a new transparent pavilion set in a metal frame. This pavilion, developed by Sunderland City Council’s regeneration company Siglion, will be open to visitors during the summer, hosting exhibitions, showcasing local talent and innovation, as well as providing a viewing platform to observe the city’s new Culture House being constructed.

Featuring a 10m x 5m screen on the upper deck, along with two 5m x 5m screen ‘wings’, the pavilion is designed to inspire and engage visitors with visual displays and immersive soundscapes. Funded in part by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology 5G Innovation Regions Grant, the screen aims to demonstrate Sunderland’s smart city capabilities by utilizing its 5G network.

Councillor Kevin Johnston, cabinet member for Dynamic City, expressed excitement about the opportunity the Sunderland Pavilion presents to engage residents and visitors in a new and exciting way. The design and access statement submitted to council planners envisions the pavilion project as a celebration of advancements in construction, technology, and collaboration, aiming to push boundaries and spark imagination.

Designed by Sunderland-based architecture firm Building Design Northern (BDN), the Sunderland Pavilion is intended to respond to the surrounding architecture at Keel Square. Richard Marsden, managing director at BDN, highlighted the significance of designing a space that will be enjoyed by local families and visitors to Sunderland.

Funding for the giant digital screen is part of a larger grant from the Department for Science Innovation and Technology 5G Innovation Regions, allocated to support digital infrastructure projects in the North East region. A decision on the Sunderland Pavilion will be made following a period of council consultation, with a deadline scheduled for May 6, 2024.

For more information on the planning application or to track its progress, interested individuals can visit the council’s planning portal website and reference application number 24/00405/FU4. Additionally, to learn more about Expo Sunderland and its upcoming events, visit their website at exposunderland.com.

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