New public square for Sunderland

A new public square, with artwork celebrating Sunderland's ship-building heritage, will be created in the city.

Artwork will celebrate Sunderland ship-building

‘The Keel Line' and ‘Propellers of the City’ are significant works for Sunderland. Not only will they be important records of our maritime heritage, they will also act as a ‘Keel Line’ for the future development of the former Vaux brewery site as it progresses towards its new purpose as an urban business district.

“In creating the new city centre public space we saw the opportunity to celebrate Sunderland’s shipbuilding and industrial heritage. We want people in the city to become involved in the work, supplying photographs of relatives who worked in the shipyards and sharing their own thoughts on the many ships that sailed from Sunderland’s yards."

– Cllr Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council

New public square for Sunderland

Sunderland City Council has revealed what a new public square in the city will look like.

New Public Square to celebrate ship-building heritage
The new square will celebrate Sunderland's ship-building heritage Credit: Sunderland City Council

Space for the new square has been created through the realignment of St Mary’s Way.

The roundabout at the top of High Street West will be removed with the space that remains becoming a shared open space for people to meet and for public events and gatherings.

The new public square will feature artwork that celebrates the city’s industrial heritage.

A 3.5 metre high interactive sculpture, 'Propellers of the City' will include photographs of up to 500 Sunderland people who worked in the shipyards.

Sunderland residents are being asked to submit photographs of family members for inclusion to the Living History North East group based at Donnison School in Sunderland, where members are co-ordinating the collation of images.

The second artwork, ‘The Keel Line’ will lead from the ‘Propellers of the City’ sculpture, across the new public square and continue over the extent of the Vaux site towards the river.

At 291.7 metres the line will include the names of up to 9,000 of the most significant ships built in Sunderland's shipyards dating back to the early 19th century.

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