Arts centre opens doors

A £6 million arts and business complex called thePlace opened in a regenerated quarter of Sunderland city centre last week.

The centre, next to Sunniside Gardens in the Sunniside regeneration area, is made up of an exhibition space, a cafe, meeting rooms, artists' studios and offices.

Central Sunderland is home to more than 160 listed buildings and thePlace comprises six refurbished grade II listed buildings as well as a new-build complex.

The Sunniside Partnership, set up by Sunderland City Council, Sunderland Arc, English Partnerships and One NorthEast, drove forward the plans. Director Ben Hall said: "The centre is a fantastic building that will help to attract further investment into the area. It is providing high-quality, modern business and artistic space in a beautiful setting."

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