Plans underway for new Foundation home

Published:
by Ashley Houghton

Beacon of Light spearheaded by former SAFC chairman Sir Bob Murray.

The Foundation of Light has revealed it is to seek the views of the public about its vision for the future at a public consultation event in October.

The Foundation has developed plans for a unique building project, which would sit adjacent to the Stadium of Light and provide significant benefits for the City of Sunderland and the wider community.

The building to be named the ‘Beacon of Light’ would also become the permanent home for the charity, which is currently housed in the Stadium of Light.

The charity moved into purpose built accommodation at the Centre of Light in 2004 but is struggling for space and to meet the demand for its award-winning educational and welfare programmes.

This new building would enable the Foundation of Light to expand its reach and work with more local people in a greater variety of ways to address the health and well-being, education and employment agendas.

The proposed built facility would house classrooms, a versatile hall that could be used for sports and other community events, multi-purpose rooms for young people and a number of floodlit outdoor junior football pitches.

The event which is open to the public will take place from 5pm until 7pm on Thursday October 17 at Sunderland Aquatic Centre. The exhibition will include a display of the Beacon of Light scheme and initial plans, which it is proposed would be submitted to Sunderland Council at a future date.

The project is being spearheaded by Sir Bob Murray CBE, the former Chairman of Sunderland AFC and Chair of Trustees for the Foundation of Light, who was the driving force behind the construction of the Stadium of Light, Academy of Light and St.George’s Park - the national football centre for all England football teams.

Speaking about the project, Mr. Murray commented: “The Beacon of Light is an exciting project and would be a vibrant hub for the community.

“It would be a place that people of all ages and from all backgrounds can come together and realise their potential through the fantastic sport and education programmes run by the Foundation.

“Although we are under no illusions that there are significant funding challenges to overcome, I am confident that with the generosity of the North East and the foresight of national funders, we can create a pioneering facility that will benefit Sunderland, the region and beyond.”

The project is being undertaken with invaluable support from a range of local and regional partners including the Sunderland City Council and the Homes and Community Agency.