Building work has resumed on a significant development on Sunderland’s seafront.
Seaburn Inn is once again rising from the ground, after the Inn Collection Group’s contractors, Metnor Construction, resumed work this week following the UK lockdown.
The 40-room inn, which will stand next to the new STACK venue in Seaburn, had been progressing well before the government introduced strict Covid-19 measures in late March, meant work was forced to come to a halt.
However, relaxed guidelines and reduced social distancing requirements mean that it is now possible for the construction team to get back on site, minimising delays to the planned opening date, which was originally expected to be at the end of this year.
Multi-award-winning hospitality and leisure specialist The Inn Collection Group saw its plans for the new venue approved in October 2019, and work got underway in December.
Construction of the three-storey venue, which will include a bar and dining area and children’s play park for customers, is now expected to conclude in spring 2021, with an official date yet to be announced.
Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group, said: “We are very excited that work has been able to restart on The Seaburn Inn.
“We have secured a prime seafront site in Sunderland during an exciting time for the city, as it gears up its coastal regeneration plans.
“We believe staycations will be on the rise over the coming years too as a result of the current situation, which holds the opening of The Seaburn Inn, plus all our other inns across the north, in good stead.”
The news follows the announcement by STACK operator, Danieli Holdings, that construction of its venue is now back underway, and that plans are afoot to open in time for the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The Seaburn Inn development is part of a wider Inn Collection Group plan to develop a completely freehold estate and more than double its 13-strong portfolio of pubs with rooms by 2022.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the city council and its backers have continued to plough ahead with ambitious plans across the city. Last week, it was confirmed that work will soon begin on a new Holiday Inn overlooking Keel Square.
As well as hotel developments on the seafront, there will be more leisure venues taking shape, with an £820,000 investment to regenerate under-used and historic buildings along the Seaburn and Roker promenade in place.
A disused toilet block at Roker and the former Bay Shelter and old tram shelter at Seaburn will be transformed into cafés and restaurants, and there are also plans for 12 beach huts, just north of House of Zen. There will also be upgrades to the infrastructure of Seaburn Camp.
In the city centre, there have been a number of major investment announcements, including a £100m commitment from Legal and General, that will see Riverside Sunderland transformed, with the addition of City Hall and two further office developments on the site of the former Vaux Brewery.
Work on the 450-seater auditorium is pushing ahead, as well as the transformation of the city centre’s Minster Quarter and other buildings like Gilbridge Police Station, the River Wear Commissioners Building, the Elephant Tearooms and the historic Mackie’s Quarter, are all being reimagined, thanks to multi-millions pound investment.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “During lockdown, I think people really did begin to appreciate what we have on our doorstep here in Sunderland.
“Our stunning seaside really is the jewel in the crown of the city, and we are determined to put it firmly on the visitor map. High quality travel accommodation is key to that aim, and that is what the Seaburn Inn will deliver.
“We’re thrilled to see work get back underway on this exciting new venue, and we look forward to seeing the inn take shape over the coming weeks and months.
“Hotel operators know the market; they build in locations they are confident will make a return.
“Our city is transforming by the day and there is so much more to come. Investment in stunning new developments – from STACK Seaburn, to the Auditorium, and the new business hubs that are filling up in Sunderland city centre – teamed with incredible natural assets, mean that there are more reasons than ever for people to visit this city and we will see an increasing need for high quality accommodation.
“Anyone watching the progress we are making in the city should be looking at the levels of investment that are pouring in – like that of the Inn Colllection Group, and of Cairn Group who are bringing forward a Holiday Inn at Keel Square – and know the vision we are building for a dynamic, vibrant city is on course. We will not be slowed down either – we’re determined to bring forward better leisure, housing and business spaces that will help this city, and its people, realise their potential.”