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Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group and Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council

New inn for Sunderland’s seafront

SUNDERLAND’S seaside is set for another boost, with plans revealed for a 40-bed inn. 

Sunderland City Council’s development company has agreed terms with multi-award winning hospitality and leisure specialist The Inn Collection Group, that will see plans introduced for a ‘pub with rooms’, in the latest step forward in Seaburn’s transformation. 

The three-storey venue - which is expected to go to Sunderland’s planning committee by the end of the month - will stand close to Martino’s restaurant on the main coast road, next to the proposed STACK Seaburn development, plans for which were unveiled in May.

North east based The Inn Collection Group, which has an expanding portfolio of pubs with rooms, including The Seaton Lane Inn in Seaton, The Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick and The Bamburgh Castle Inn in Seahouses, is behind the proposals, and believes the inn will be a major asset to Seaburn, boosting the area’s economic and tourism capacity as the number of people visiting Sunderland continues to grow.  Figures released last year showed that more people than ever are visiting the city, a six per cent year on year increase, with tourism spend also increasing by some five per cent compared with the year before. 

Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group, said: “We are delighted to have secured this site in Seaburn which will be an exciting addition to our portfolio of pubs with rooms in the north’s best loved destinations including the Northumberland coast, Durham and the Lake District.

“The Seaburn development, alongside STACK, will bolster Sunderland’s economy, both in terms of job creation - from positions generated during the construction phase and by permanent full-time roles created by the new inn. It will fill a gap in the market for visitor accommodation, encouraging people to extend their stay and spending in Sunderland and provide local people with a new place to eat and drink, in a first-class location.”

This is the latest visitor accommodation planned for the city, with a Holiday Inn proposed for Keel Square set to go before Sunderland’s planning committee over the coming weeks. 

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said the interest shown by The Inn Collection Group was another vote of confidence in the council’s vision to create a vibrant leisure-led development at the city’s seaside. 

He said: “Seaburn is the jewel in Sunderland’s crown, and a place that both residents and visitors can enjoy.  We want to enhance its natural charm and ensure it becomes a destination-seaside – the STACK proposals were a huge step forward, and add to that the renovation work that will be going ahead to our stunning old buildings on Seaburn promenade, and you can see that we are really beginning to deliver a transformational programme for the area.  And we will not rest on our laurels to ensure we attract further investment that helps create a really special place.

“This additional accommodation will complement the Grand Hotel and Roker Hotel, and will contribute to the vibrant seafront location we know Seaburn can be.  We are delighted that The Inn Collection Group recognises the vast potential of the area.”

The Inn Collection Group has a proven track record in delivering purpose-built inns, operating on a model that provides value-for-money accommodation, quality beverages and home-made pub fare, served all day, 365 days a year.

Its most recent new-build developments include The Commissioners Quay Inn in Blyth and The Amble Inn in Amble, a £4m development which opened in January.

If the inn is given planning consent, work is expected to start by the end of the year, and it is thought the building will open by December 2020.

Last week, Sunderland’s seaside received a £820k cash boost, with proposals to regenerate under-used and historic buildings along the Seaburn and Roker promenade given the green light by the council.  Plans will see a former toilet block at Roker, along with the former Bay Shelter and the old tram shelter at Seaburn, transformed into cafés and restaurants, and plans are also afoot for 12 beach huts, that will stand just north of Fat Buddha.  There will also be upgrades to the infrastructure of Seaburn Camp to make it better for touring caravans.

The work is part of a £1.5bn city-wide investment programme, that will see the seaside, city centre and residential areas of Sunderland transformed through council-driven development projects.