A NEW library is set to rise from the ground in Sunderland as part of a plan to reimagine the heart of the city.

The Culture House, a state-of-the-art library and community hub, is among the new buildings included in the new masterplan for Riverside Sunderland.

The council plan maps out the development projects that will take place in the coming months and years to establish the city centre as a place to live, work and visit.

Standing four storeys high, The Culture House is planned for the site of The Corner Flag on the south side of Keel Square and will house libraries for adults, children and young people, as well as spaces for creativity and innovation.

The building is set for completion by 2023 and aims to boost footfall and spending in the city centre – with more than 600,000 visitors expected per year.

Traditional and digital resources will be available alongside flexible community and meeting spaces, a coffee shop and roof terraces overlooking Keel Square.

The main space in the building ‘The Forum’ will be a hive of activity where families will learn and play together.

Meanwhile, a local studies and archive centre at the site will complement the local studies library at the nearby Elephant Tea Rooms.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said the development will be a “fantastic new addition to the city’s visitor offer”.

“The Culture House will be a library – but unlike any we have seen in the city,” he said.

“It will be an engaging, interactive, playful environment, where people of all ages will feel inspired and enthused and can learn in fun new ways.

“And where we celebrate Sunderland’s rich history and heritage, and it’s contribution to the culture of the North East – as well as the role it is playing now in supporting UK Plc, through advanced manufacturing, exporting, innovation and technology.

“Community resources like this provide the glue that brings people together, they fuel imaginations and stimulate a thirst for knowledge.

“But they’re great fun, and our vision for Riverside Sunderland has to be about creating places people want to visit and enjoy.”

The Culture House is one of 17 projects, either under way or planned for completion within the next three years, that will be brought to life in the Riverside Sunderland masterplan.

The plan sets out how Sunderland City Council will kick-start the transformation of the 33.2 hectare Riverside Sunderland site, which will transform the former Vaux Brewery site, High Street West, Galley’s Gill, Farringdon Row and Sheepfolds.

Cllr Miller added: “The Culture House is one of a number of transformational new buildings planned for Riverside Sunderland, and the scale of the ambition for each part of the plan is to deliver something that will stand on a national stage – that will help elevate the city and its offer as a place to live, work and play.

“We are transforming Sunderland, brick-by-brick and bit-by-bit and The Culture House is just one component that will help make Riverside Sunderland a stunning new addition to the city centre.”

For more information on the latest developments at Riverside Sunderland, visit www.riversidesunderland.com or search @Riversidesund on social media.