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Roker tunnel and lighthouse a step nearer to letting people in

The grant of £545,000 has been eagerly awaited to allow the complete renovation of the structure. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Plans to restore the historic Roker Lighthouse and tunnel under the Pier, are getting the go ahead after Sunderland Council won a bid for half a million pounds.

The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable the lighthouse and tunnel to be opened to the public. The surface of the pier and lantern house have already undergone restoration.

The tunnel runs the full length of the pier to allow access to the Lighthouse in bad weather. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

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Roker Pier closes for first time in 111 years

Roker Pier closes on June 22 for the first time in its 111 year history. Restoration work will be carried out as part of plans to restore the landmark.

The work is part of a £1.35m project for the Grade II listed pier announced by Sunderland City Council last February.

"Undoubtedly people who regularly use the pier will be disappointed about the disruption but hopefully carrying out the work now will mean there's less need to close it for temporary repairs in the future."

– Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Mel Speding

Work to lighthouse begins

Work to restore the 110-year-old Roker Lighthouse is nearly complete.

The lantern house at the top of the Lighthouse in Sunderland has been shrouded in scaffolding while work was carried out.

The lantern house had become so damaged by the pounding winds and waves that the glass around the lantern was cracked and the iron and steel so rusted holes could be pushed through it.

The scaffolding is due to be removed this week, revealing the new red and white paint work.

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Roker Pier restoration cash bid

A tunnel underneath Roker Pier could soon be open to the public, if a bid for funding is successful. The space underneath the pier is three quarters of a mile long and originally housed the gas pipes powering the lighthouse.

Sunderland City Council has submitted a new application for extra money from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out the work.