Fast-paced development of the Riverside Sunderland site is being supported by work on a distinctive £14million multi-storey car park.

Farringdon Row’s new multi-storey car park, which will support the businesses and residents and help form a new first impression for visitors, has been progressing since April, with a concrete framework beginning to take shape and steel support set to arrive on-site.

It will feature a striking mesh wrap and a living wall of plants.

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Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “We want to ensure that every building at Riverside Sunderland reflects the level of ambition we have for this city, including infrastructure like car parks which are often the first place people see when they arrive. 

“We’re really pleased with the final designs for the MSCP, which are distinctive enough to stand out, but discreet enough to ensure what will be a large building does not overtake or distract from the beautiful residential buildings that will stand close by when this site is fully developed.”

Groundwork to prepare the area started in November, and now construction partner Sir Robert McAlpine and car park specialist Goldbeck will begin work on the main structure of the MSCP, which will deliver 650 parking spaces on the edge of the city centre.The plans were unveiled last year, with designs from artist Tonkin Lui creating a distinctive arrival point for people coming into the city centre from the A1231.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “A key part of our work at Riverside Sunderland is in creating the infrastructure that can support the city’s ongoing regeneration, and we know that – while many people are moving to more sustainable modes of public transport - cities still need readily available parking for businesspeople, visitors and residents.

The Northern Echo: Work on the car park is well underwayWork on the car park is well underway

“Ensuring the carpark we build looks the part is important to us, particularly given the site’s prominence, and that’s why it features some distinctive artwork, to ensure it provides an attractive welcome to the city centre.”

Tonkin Lui’s artwork has been designed up into a workable solution and the final product is currently moving into manufacture.

Once complete, it is estimated that the Riverside Sunderland development will create up to 10,000 jobs and significantly boost the city centre population with the construction of hundreds of homes.


Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, discusses the rise of the city and the Riverside project in-depth in the new quarterly BUSINESSiQ magazine later this month. For your copy, contact