New exhibition celebrates a changing Sunderland

A photographic exhibition highlighting the changing face of Sunderland over the last eight years is taking place at Sunderland Minster, from 20 March- 9 April.

The photographs were commissioned by Sunderland City Council, and taken over a three month period (December 2014 - February 2015). They include new public buildings, schools, business centres, redeveloped outdoor spaces and eco-friendly housing.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson said: “Through some very difficult economic times, the City Council and our partners have maintained our commitment to invest in the city. There have been developments and improvements in every area of the city, and we're proud that we managed to find new and different ways of working which meant we could continue on with our plans when times got tough.

"The photographs are excellent, they really showcase the scale, quality and range of developments which have taken place. And of course, work is still ongoing to develop the city. In the coming months we'll see the opening of Keel Square in the city centre and the new Washington Leisure Centre, more landscaping work at the seafront and hopefully works starting on the new Wear crossing and the former Vaux site. There's lots to look forward to."

Canon Sheila Bamber from Sunderland Minster said: "We host a lot of exhibitions and events, and this one is a great mix of the old and the new, with striking photographs of contemporary design being displayed in one of the city's oldest buildings. It's the perfect space to enjoy and appreciate the photographs, right in the city centre."

All photography was taken by Steve Mayes, an architectural photographer based in the North East.

Steve said: "My passion is photographing architecture, the built environment, cityscapes and landscapes, so I was really pleased to get this commission from the council. It was a really interesting project due to the wide range of new developments and landscaping changes that have taken place. Some of them are extremely impressive, my personal favourite was the Sunderland Aquatic Centre, I've never seen a swimming pool like it."

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Did you know?

Sunderland's Friendship Agreement with Washington DC makes us the only city in Europe to enjoy such a relationship with the world's most powerful city. Washington Old Hall is home to the direct ancestors of the first president of the United States of America.

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