Strategic development partner




Sunderland City Council


Leisure, Hotel, Office

Milligan is proud to be working alongside Sunderland City Council on a game-changing vision for the site of the former Crowtree Leisure Centre. Plans include a massive leisure investment anchored by a new 10,000-capacity, multi-purpose arena, that will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city every year.

Crowtree Leisure Centre, in the heart of Sunderland city centre, once housed everything from a swimming pool and ice rink to indoor bowls. It even hosted an edition of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow before being largely demolished in 2013.

Today, Milligan is working with the city council to explore a range of options for the site which will add to the attraction of the city centre, appealing to a wide range of audiences, including families, young people, and students.

Options and ideas are in line with the Council’s 10 year investment programme for the city centre and riverside. They include plans to overhaul the station and the arrival experience for visitors along with plans to double the city centre population. Working closely with BNP, Faulkner Brown Architects, and Gleeds we are exploring the site’s potential to host different types of multi-purpose leisure spaces including cinema, live events, bowling, cafes and restaurants.

The scheme will create a much richer mix of attractions and activities in the city centre, with an emphasis on complementing and supporting the existing successful cultural attractions in the city. Designs will focus on making sure the new offer complements and connects with its surroundings and near neighbours. The site sits in close proximity to The Bridges Shopping Centre, Crowtree Green, the Fire Station, and the new developments around Keel Square including The Culture House and new 120 bed Holiday Inn.

The project has already attracted over £20m in funding from Sunderland City Council and national Government and will move into advanced design stages if Sunderland’s Cabinet sign off the proposed budget for the scheme.

Other transformational projects are planned for the former Vaux Brewery site and Sheepfolds, marking a new phase in Sunderland’s city centre evolution, which council bosses say is about creating an experience-led destination.

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