Sunderland Exchange
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Sunderland Exchange, High Street East © Historic England
Sunderland Exchange, High Street East © Historic England

Get Involved

All the latest news on community events, projects, education and other ways to get involved in Sunderland's Heritage Action Zone.

Sunderland History Fair

On Saturday 2 June 2018 we went along to Sunderland History Fair at the Quayside Exchange. We talked to people about the latest developments in Sunderland's Heritage Action Zone. We answered questions about the project and shared new information about the progress being made with Heritage Action Zone projects in the area as well as gathering people's stories and memories about the area to help with our research.

People looking at the Heritage Action Zone stand at Sunderland History Fair
Wardell Armstrong and Historic England at Sunderland’s History Fair © Historic England

Look Up (June – July 2018)

From June 18 to July 15 we are encouraging everyone to 'look up' above the shop fronts to explore some of the fantastic architecture found in Sunderland's city centre. Concentrating on Fawcett Street and High Street East - we'll be highlighting some of the key features to be proud of in the Heritage Action Zone.

Buildings featured will include the Elephant Tea Rooms and Corder and Sydenham House (both designed by noted architect Frank Caws) as well as the Eagle Building - once a 17th century tavern and now a venue for events and training.

We want you to feel inspired by Sunderland's city centre heritage and recognise what the area has to offer. We'd also like you to share your photographs, stories and memories of the Old Sunderland to help us better understand the social history of the area. Share on Twitter @HE_NorthEast#SunderlandHAZ or find us on Facebook or Instagram @SunderlandHeritageActionZone.

Poster 'Spot the mighty eagle perching on its rooftop throne. Take a different view and look up. Explore and discover a different side to your historic buildings with Sunderland's Heritage Action Zone. Share your images and stories of Sunderland's historic buildings #SunderlandHAZ'
Sunderland’s ‘Look Up’ campaign is encouraging people to take a different view of their City centre heritage © Historic England

Area Assessment (June – August 2018)

Researchers from Wardell Armstrong LLP are working to improve our understanding of the historical importance of Sunderland's historic high streets (and surrounding areas) through an Area Assessment project. To help with this, they are seeking your views and memories of Sunderland's heritage to help build a better picture of how the area has grown and developed over time.

Share your views by taking part in their survey

Georgian buildings on Villiers Street
Wardell Armstrong are working to improve understanding of Sunderland’s City centre heritage such as these buildings on Villiers Street © Wardell Armstrong

Tall Ships (July 2018)

This year will see the prestigious Tall Ships fleet arrive in the historic port of Sunderland. The ships will be open for free public access at set times, with four days of events celebrating the cities culture and maritime heritage taking place throughout the city.

The festivities will take place from Wednesday 11 July to Saturday 14 July.

More about the tall ships programme

Tall Ships in a harbour
The Tall Ships is coming to the historic port of Sunderland © Wiki Commons

Heritage Open Days (September 2018)

Heritage Open Days is a fantastic annual opportunity to visit historic places that aren't normally open to the public.

This September, come and visit us at 170-175 High Street West (Pop Recs), where we'll be on hand to talk about how our work in the Heritage Action Zone is bringing Sunderland's historic high streets back to life. We'll be ready to answer your questions about our regeneration work and hope to gather your stories of the area to help us in our research about Old Sunderland.

More details to follow soon.


Through our Heritage Schools' programme, Historic England has been working with local schools to promote some of the learning opportunities associated with Sunderland's Heritage Action Zone.

In January, we held a training event for teachers which included a tour round Sunderland's Heritage Action Zone and an introduction to some of the educational activities offered by local partners.

We have worked with local schools from Sunderland's East End to help them achieve Heritage School's status and make greater use of heritage in delivering their curriculum.

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