Restoration and Conversion of The Tram Shelter, Seaburn, SunderlandSunderland City Council

"We see ourselves as custodians of an asset that has such significance to Sunderland, so it is important to us that we handle the building's restoration with respect and a deep appreciation of the era in which this stunning structure served the city,"
Jonathan Dryden of Blacks Corner

Sunderland City Council engaged BBA to assist them in resolving Listed Building Consent matters for the planned redevelopment of the old Tram Shelter at Seaburn Seafront, Sunderland.

Positioned within the broad footpath of the upper promenade it boasts an enviable position with spectacular views out over the North Sea coastline. The site’s surrounding area is a mix of residential and commercial property, with the 4* Grand Hotel, the recently upgraded Seaburn and Cliffe Parks and the well-used upper and lower promenade walks situated nearby.

Since 2010, the Council’s Seafront Regeneration Programme has secured over £8 million funding for upgrades to the visitor environment and offer at Sunderland Seafront. This has included restoration of Meik’s Lighthouse, Roker Pier, Bede’s Cross and improving the area’s capacity for events and providing local business support.

The Regeneration Programme was subject to widespread public consultation, with key outcomes from the public being the consolidation of heritage buildings, improved public conveniences and more commercial premises.

Looking to deliver on the responses from the community, the Council has steadily upgraded and secured funding to deliver improved amenities, including the subterranean toilets (listed following their restoration), that sit either side of the Tram Shelter.

The next phase of works in this area was due to be the sensitive conversion of the Tram Shelter into a commercial facility.

BBA produced a Heritage Design and Access Statement that recorded the building details and condition and provided proposals for redevelopment.

The proposal was to enclose the shelter, replicating the details and proportions of the existing gable elevation walls. Internally, the scheme was to fit out the enclosed space for a café comprising, accessible WC, kitchen and servery counter.

The scheme is a conservation-led with restoration works to the fish-scale roof, cast iron columns and existing timber frames with all other historic features retained and enhanced by the development.

It is now a successful business operated by Blacks Corner and it is one of three historic buildings being revamped as part of a £850,000 investment from Sunderland City Council and The Coastal Communities Fund.