River Tees dockside and Wearmouth Bridge in background
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River Tees dockside and Wearmouth Bridge © Historic England
River Tees dockside and Wearmouth Bridge © Historic England

Project Background

Sunderland's 'Historic High Streets' Heritage Action Zone aims to bring Sunderland's high street heritage back to life. Focussing on Fawcett Street, Church Street, High Street East and High Street West - the scheme will build on work by Sunderland City Council and local partners to revive historic Sunderland and reconnect it with the modern city centre.

The project aims to help rejuvenate and unlock the potential of the area to help it achieve sustainable growth. The project will include an intensive programme of research, repair and regeneration, alongside community projects encouraging local people to get involved.

Fawcett Street was the city centre's principal shopping street during the 19th and 20th centuries and contains some of the most historically important buildings in Sunderland's city centre including the Hutchinson's Buildings and Corder and Sydenham House. But many of the buildings in the area have now fallen into a state of disrepair. There are a significant number of vacant or poorly maintained buildings and visually obtrusive shop fronts have also served to undermine the distinctive quality of the historic architecture in the area.

The Heritage Action Zone aims to refurbish some of these buildings and change the economic fortunes of the area at a time of exciting cultural investment in the city. Through Sunderland's Heritage Action Zone, it is hoped that people will be able to rediscover their fascinating local heritage.


Map of Sunderland town centre
Sunderland’s ‘Look Up’ campaign is encouraging people to take a different view of their town centre heritage © Historic England


The Heritage Action Zone will be led by Sunderland City Council in partnership with Historic England, Sunderland Heritage Forum, the Churches Conservation Trust, Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust and Sunderland Culture.

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