External works complete on £26m Sunderland station revamp

Aerial photo of the new look Sunderland station
24 March 2023

Work on the next phase of the £26 million transformation of Sunderland train station is now underway.

The installation of the new roof and its wrap-around glass façade has paved the way for the interior fit-out of the new entrance and final engineering works.

Delivering a light, bright and airy welcome to Sunderland, the £26 million project – which also includes a new multi-storey car park at Holmeside - is part of a wider £100 million plan to transform the city’s key transport hub.

The glazed statement entrance, which overlooks Market Square, features a large glass wrap around design, and will include a new ticket office and reception, public toilets, retail space and cafes, comfortable waiting areas, as well as a new mezzanine level that will have office space reserved for rail industry staff.  

The redevelopment of the train station has been a priority for the council for some time and city chiefs are delighted to see progress being made towards the completion of the project, which they believe will ‘show the world that Sunderland is open for business.’

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Sunderland and the entire North East.

“The redevelopment of Sunderland station is a key part of our plans to regenerate the city and improve transport links for residents and visitors and will send a clear message that Sunderland is a city that is open for business.

“Combined with the ongoing transformation of Riverside Sunderland, the completion of the glazing and roof works is yet another major step forward for us as a city and we are thrilled that we are now moving towards the final stages of development.”

The redevelopment of the station includes a new, modern entrance that will provide improved access to the station for passengers. It will also see the station benefit from new facilities, including a café and retail space, as well as improved waiting areas and ticket facilities.

Driven by Sunderland City Council, in partnership with Network Rail, Nexus, Grand Central and Northern Rail, the Council is now drumming up support for an entire station makeover over the coming years, with a vision to revamp the northern entrance of the station, as well as platform-level works to increase the capacity of the station, with four tracks and four platforms to separate Nexus and Metro from mainline services.  

Martin Kearney, Managing Director at Nexus, said: “It is great to see this £26m project making such amazing progress. Sunderland station is a major regional gateway which is being transformed.

“The new-look station is really starting to take shape. We’re excited to see the completed development and our new Metro trains taking customers there.”

Sean English, chief operating officer at Grand Central, added: “The completion of the glazing represents a significant milestone in the redevelopment of Sunderland station, and it is exciting to see the new concourse building taking shape.

“The new station will bring an improvement in facilities and station experience for passengers and Grand Central is looking forward to these significant benefits being fully realised later this year.

John Williamson, chairman of Vextrix, which provides project and programme management, quantity surveying, contract administration and principal designer services to Northern Trains, said: “The proposed station will be a modern steel and glass construction paying tribute to Sunderland’s proud industrial heritage. It will replace a tired and gloomy station concourse with a bright and welcoming gateway to the city of which Northern Trains and their partners are proud to help deliver.”

Leading construction company BAM Nuttall has been leading the development since demolition work concluded in October.

Completion of the southern entrance works is scheduled for the end of 2023. The improvements have been part-funded by the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF). The overall TCF package for Sunderland Station improvements and associated works is £16.3m.

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