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The City of Sunderland ( ) is a local government district of Tyne and Wear, in North East England, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. It is named after its largest settlement, Sunderlandmarker, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Washingtonmarker, Houghton-le-Springmarker, and other smaller settlements.

The district was formed in 1974 as the Metropolitan Borough of Sunderland as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 and is an amalgamation of four former local government districts of County Durham. It was granted city status in 1992, the 40th anniversary of the Queen Elizabeth II's accession. The city had a population of 280,807 at the time of the 2001 census.

History

The metropolitan borough was formed in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972 by the merger of several districts of County Durham - Washington Urban Districtmarker, Houghton-le-Spring Urban Districtmarker and Hetton Urban Districtmarker - with the County Borough of Sunderlandmarker.

The metropolitan borough was granted city status in 1992, the 40th anniversary of the Queen's accession. At the Queen's Golden Jubilee the city petitioned to be allowed a Lord Mayor, but was unsuccessful. Although the city does not have a Cathedral, as it is located in the Diocese of Durhammarker, it does have Sunderland Minstermarker.

HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy's biggest warship, is Sunderland's adopted ship. In March 2004 it was granted the freedom of the City. St Benedict Biscop was adopted as the City's Patron Saint in March 2004.

Economy

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Sunderland at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Year Regional Gross Value Added Agriculture Industry Services
1995 2,582 4 1,094 1,483
2000 3,116 4 1,281 1,832
2003 3,769 4 1,328 2,437


 includes hunting and forestry


 includes energy and construction


 includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured


 Components may not sum to totals due to rounding


International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Sunderland is twinned with:



In June 2006, officials from Sunderland and Washington, D.C signed a Friendship Agreement, hoping to promote the cultural and economic ties between the two cities. The cities share historical links, as the ancestors of the first President of the United States of America, George Washington, lived in Washington Old Hallmarker, which is within the municipal boundaries of Sunderland.

City government

Boundary review 2004

Like all metropolitan authorities, the city is divided into a number of wards or electoral districts. Each has three councillors elected for a four-year term. One third of councillors face re-election each year, and no city elections are held in the fourth year of the election cycle - this was when each ward's sole metropolitan county councillor was elected, prior to the county council's abolition in 1986.

The City has 25 such wards. When the boundaries of these wards were set in 1982, each ward had a roughly equal population. By 2004 there had been a considerable shift in population. In particular, the east and south east – the old parish of Sunderland and the mining village of Ryhope – had lost population to the "New Town" of Washingtonmarker. As a result the boundaries were redrawn; Sunderland lost one ward and Washington gained one. Elections for all 75 councillors were held on 10 June 2004.

Functions

The Local Government Act 1972 created two different two-tier systems for local administration, with different division of functions. As a metropolitan authority, Sunderland retained responsibility for waste collection, although disposal of the garbage was a county function, and for education. In 1986, when Tyne and Wear Metropolitan County Council was abolished, most county functions became the responsibility of the constituent districts, whilst new joint boards assumed the co-ordinating roles in the county. Thus control over economic development, of the Museums and Archive Service, of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Civil Defence Authority and of the Passenger Transport Authority is exercised not by committees of directly elected county councillors but by nominees chosen by the elected members of the five district authorities.

Sunderland has not had a separate police force since 1967, when the Borough of Sunderland Police merged with Durham Constabulary. The City is now part of the Northumbria Police Force area. This force was set up in 1974, and covers the whole of Tyne and Wear plus the much larger but much less densely populated county of Northumberlandmarker.

The city is unparished, except for Hetton-le-Holemarker which is a civil parish, and which has a town council.

Political structure

The City has had a Labour controlled council since 1974, and often before that. After the elections of May 2003 the political structure was 63 Labour, 9 Conservative, and 1 independent. The only Liberal Party councillor sat with the only Liberal Democrat as a "Liberal/Democrat" group. Three Councillors resigned from the Labour Party following disputes over the selection of candidates for the 2004 elections. Two became independent members; one joined the Liberal Democrat party, becoming group leader after the 2004 municipal elections.

The reorganisation of electoral areas saw major changes in all but two wards, but the elections of 10 June 2004, the first fought under the new boundaries, saw little change in the political representation of the City as a whole, with 61 Labour, 12 Conservative, and 2 Liberal Democrat councillors elected.

The Conservative party won all three seats in a new ward whose boundaries spanned several old wards. The Liberal Democrats stronghold ward was abolished entirely, and became part of four new wards, and the Liberal Democrat councillors elected in 2004 were from two very different areas.

Following further disputes within the Labour Party, 3 councillors resigned the whip at the end of 2006 and, joined by one of the liberal democrat members formed an independent group, which is the minority party in opposition.

At the elections of May 2007, the Labour Party continued their decline. Labour lost three seats to the Conservatives, whilst former Labour Mayor Mrs Julianna Heron lost to an independent: the same person who had defeated her husband in 2003 and who was in turn defeated by him in 2004.

The Conservative party made further significant gains in May 2008, gaining five additional seats and strengthening their support in others.

The Council composition for 2008/9 is: 48 Labour members, 22 Conservatives, 4 Independents, and 1 Liberal Democrat.

Parliamentary Constituencies

There are three constituencies wholly within the city, and one constituency partially in Sunderland and partially in Gateshead:

The Boundary Commission for England has proposed reducing the number of MPs in Tyne and Wear by one. It is therefore recommending substantial boundary changes, creating Sunderland Central, Sunderland North & Washington and Sunderland South & Houghton seats. This would concentrate the city's Conservative support into a single Parliamentary seat, Sunderland Central, making it a marginal constituency by some estimates, including that of Sunderland South MP Chris Mullin. Under these changes, all of Washington would be included in the Sunderland North & Washington seat, rather than being shared with Gateshead as the Gateshead East and Washington Westmarker constituency.

In the 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2005 General Elections, the Sunderland South constituency was the first to declare the results.

The whole City of Sunderland is within the North East England European Parliamentarymarker constituency.

Education



Culture

Dialect

The Mackem accent and dialect is often mistaken for Geordie to people not from the region, as the two tongues share several similarities in pronunciation and diction.

Regeneration

Since the mid 1980's Sunderland has undergone massive regeneration, particularly around the central business district and the river corridor.

Future developments

Sunderland City Council's Unitary Development Plan (UDP) outlines ambitious regeneration plans for a number of sites around the city.The plans are supported by Sunderland Arc, an urban regeneration company funded by the City council, One NorthEast and English Partnerships.

The Holmeside Triangle
The Holmeside Triangle is an area adjacent to the Park Lane transport interchange, enclosed on three sides by Park Lane, Holmeside and railway tracks. Sunderland arc own 75% of the land, currently occupied by a mixture of retail and commercial units including Park Lane Market.£147 million plans for the site include the creation of extensive retail space, public meeting spaces, cafes, bars and restaurants, and a 33 storey Skyscraper called the Spirit of Sunderland, which would be the tallest building in North East England. In the summer of 2009 it was announced that Thornfield properties had signed a £180 million agreement with Sunderland Arc, to fund and establish the development.,

Vaux and Farringdon Row
Since the closure of the Vaux brewery in 1999, a 26 acre brownfield site has laid dormant in the centre of Sunderland. The land is subject to dispute between supermarket chain Tescomarker, who bought the site in 2001, and Sunderland arc, who submitted plans for its redvelopment in 2002. During formal negotiations, Tesco stated they would be willing to sell the land to arc, if an alternative city centre site could be found. Possibilities include Holmeside Triangle, and the Sunderland Retail Park in Roker. Arc hope to begin development in 2010.Arc's plans for the site were approved by the Secretary of State in 2007, and include extensive office space, hotels, lesuire and retail units, residential apartments and a new £50m Crown and Magistrates court. The central public arcade will be located under an expansive glass canopy. It is hoped an evening economy can be encouraged which will complement the city's nightlife.

Stadium Village
Redevelopment of the Monkwearmouth Colliery site, which sits of the north bank of the river Wear opposite the Vaux site, began in the mid 1990's with the creation of the Stadium of Lightmarker. In 2008, it was joined by the Sunderland aquatic centremarker.The Sheepfolds industrial estate occupies a large area of land between the Stadium and the Wearmouth Bridgemarker.Sunderland arc are in the process of purchasing land in the Sheepfolds, with a view to relocate the businesses and redvelop the site. The emphasis of development plans include further sporting facilities, in order to create a Sports Village. Other plans include a hotel, residential accommodation, and a footbridge linking the site with the Vaux development.

Grove and Transport Corridor
The Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC) is a proposed transport link from the A19, through the city centre, to the port. A major phase of the plan is the creation of a new bridge, which will link the A1231marker Wessington Way on the north of the river with the Grove site in Pallion, on the south of the river.In 2008, Sunderland City Council offered the residents of Sunderland the opportunity to vote on the design of the bridge. The choices were a 700 foot tall, iconic cable stay bridge, which would result in a temporary increase in council tax, or a simple road bridge which would be within the council's budget.The results of the consulatation were inconclusive, with residents keen to have an iconic bridge, but reluctant to have a subsequent increase in tax to fund it.Regardless of the ultimate design of the new bridge, the landing point will be the Grove site in Pallion. Plans for this site focus around the creation of a new residential area, with homes, community buildings, commercial and retail sites.

In September 2009, City Councillors agreed to proceed with the landmark bridge, which can be delivered without any increased costs to taxpayers. The bridge will be the tallest bridge in England. A planning application for the bridge is now being developed and could be submitted by the end of 2009. Subject to further permissions on planning and funding, work could begin in 2012 with completion towards the end of 2014.

Culture and attractions

Literature and art

The Walrus in Mowbray Park, Sunderland
Lewis Carroll was a frequent visitor to the area. He wrote most of Jabberwocky at Whitburn as well as "The Walrus and the Carpenter". Some parts of the area are also widely believed to be the inspiration for his Alice in Wonderland stories, such as Hylton Castle and Backhouse Park. There is a statue to Carroll in Whitburn library. Lewis Carroll was also a visitor to the Rectory of Holy Trinity Church, Southwick; then a township independent of Sunderland. Carroll's connection with Sunderland, and the area's history, is documented in Bryan Talbot's 2007 graphic novel Alice in Sunderland. More recently, Sunderland-born Terry Deary, writer of the series of Horrible Histories books, has achieved fame and success, and many others such as thriller writer Sheila Quigley, are following his lead.

The Manchestermarker-born painter, L. S. Lowry, was a frequent visitor, staying in the Seaburn Hotel in Sunderland. Many of his paintings of seascapes and shipbuilding are based on Wearside scenes. The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Artmarker on Fawcett Street and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardensmarker showcase exhibitions and installations from up-and-coming and established artists alike, with the latter holding an extensive collection of LS Lowry. The National Glass Centre on Liberty Way also exhibits a number of glass sculptures.

Music

Sunderland has produced a modest number of musicians that have gone on to reach international fame, most notably Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Kenickie, which featured Lauren Laverne on vocals, also achieved a top ten album and wide critical acclaim in the mid-to-late-1990s. In recent years, a thriving underground music scene in Sunderland has helped the likes of The Futureheads and Field Music gain national recognition.

Other famous Mackem musicians include punk rockers The Toy Dolls, who broke the top five of the charts with "Nellie the Elephant" in December 1984; the lead singer of dance outfit Olive, Ruth Ann Boyle, who achieved a UK chart-topper with "You're Not Alone" in May 1997, and has gone on to work with fellow chart-toppers Enigma; A Tribe of Toffs made number 21 with their cult hit "John Kettley is a Weatherman" in December 1988; Alex Kapranos of the band Franz Ferdinand also grew up in Sunderland and South Shieldsmarker.

On May 7 and 8th 2005, Sunderland played host to BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend concert - the UK's largest free music festival. The event, held at Herrington Country Parkmarker in the shadow of Penshaw Monumentmarker, was attended by 30,000 visitors and featured Foo Fighters, Kasabian, KT Tunstall, Chemical Brothers and The Black Eyed Peas.

The Empire Theatre sometimes plays host to music acts. Recently it has hosted acts as diverse as Morrissey, Deacon Blue, McFly and Journey South and in its distinguished history it has also welcomed world-renowned bands such as The Beatles and The Kinks. In 2009 it hosts Jane McDonald and The Drifters among others.

Independent, a city centre nightclub/music venue, satisfies underground music lovers, having previously played host to Keane, Franz Ferdinand, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, Maxïmo Park and Snow Patrol when they were largely unknown and had not yet achieved commercial success. In the past year, the club has hosted gigs from established bands such as The Zutons, The Maccabees, The Young Knives, Robots In Disguise, Saxon, The Mystery Jets, Klaxons and The Futureheads. In 2009 it hosts Finley Quaye, General Fiasco, Attack! Attack! and Hot Club de Paris and a DJ set from Andrew Weatherall.

Campus (formerly The Manor Quay, the students' union nightclub on St. Peter's Riverside at the University of Sunderland, has also hosted the Arctic Monkeys, Maxïmo Park, 911, the Levellers and Girls Aloud in recent years and has now had Ne-Yo, Little Boots and N-Dubz perform in Campus..

The Sunderland Stadium of Lightmarker, home to Sunderland AFC, has played host to Billy Ocean, Tasmin Archer, Republica, Sweet Female Attitude, Liberty X, Damage, Status Quo, Oasis, Take That and Sunderland Symphony Orchestra, founded in 2000.

From 30 May till 14 June 2009, Sunderland plays host to a series of free and ticketed live music events throughout the city centre, Sunderland Live in the City. Among the headline acts performing include Oasis, The Enemy, Kasabian, Reverend and the Makers and Take That at the Stadium of Light, The Beautiful South at Campus, and Hot Club de Paris at Independent.

Theatre

The Sunderland Empire theatre.
The Sunderland Empire Theatremarker, opened in 1907, is the largest theatre in the North East, reopened in December 2004 following a major redevelopment allowing it to stage West Endmarker shows such as Miss Saigon, Starlight Express and My Fair Lady, all of which have been performed at the Empire. The Empire is the only theatre between Leeds and Glasgowmarker large enough to accommodate such shows. The Empire has also recently played host to a diverse range of comedy performers such as Ricky Gervais, Roy Chubby Brown, Jimmy Carr, Al Murray, Little Britain, Mark Lamarr and The League of Gentlemen. It has also played host to an annual season from the Birmingham Royal Ballet for over ten years.

The Royalty Theatre is the home to the (amateur) Royalty Theatre group who also put on a number of low-budget productions throughout the year. Renowned film producer David Parfitt belonged to this company before achieving worldwide fame and is now a patron of the theatre.

The Empire also played host to the final performance of British comic actor Sid James who died of a heart attack whilst on stage in 1976.

Media, film and television

Sunderland has two local newspapers: the daily evening tabloid The Sunderland Echo, founded in 1873, and the Sunderland Star - a free newspaper. It also has its own local radio station Sun FM,a community radio station Spark FM and a hospital radio station - Radio Sunderland for Hospitals, and can receive other north-eastern independent radio stations Metro Radio, Magic 1152, Galaxy North East andCentury Radio. The current regional BBC radio station is BBC Radio Newcastle University of Sunderland student radio station Utopia FM has recently won awards for innovation and broadcasts for part of the year. In September 2007, Ofcommarker, the media regulator, awarded a 5 year full-time community radio licence to Utopia FM to start broadcasting in 2008. The regional DAB multiplex for the Sunderland area is operated by Bauer DIGITAL RADIO LTD. - owned by Bauer Digital Radio plc. The city is covered by BBC North East and Cumbria and ITV's Tyne Tees franchise, which has a regional office in the University's Media Centre.. Sunderland and its surrounding area is also referenced in The Catherine Tate Show numerous times.

Sunderland's first film company was established in 2008; and is known as "Tanner Films Ltd" and is based in the Sunnisidemarker area of the city. The companies first film, "King of the North" starring Angus MacFadyen and set in the Hetton-le-Holemarker area of the city; is currently under production.

Football

The only professional sporting team in Sunderland is the football team, Sunderland A.F.C., which was formed in 1879. Finishing 16th in the English Premier League in the 2008-09 season, Sunderland retains its status in the country's top division in 2009-10 and plays its home games at the 49,000 seat capacity Stadium of Lightmarker. Sunderland also has the north-east's top women's football team, Sunderland A.F.C. Women, who have been financially separated from the men's team since summer 2005. They currently play in the top tier of English women's football - FA Women's Premier League National Division, despite their financial struggles. Sunderland were league champions six times within the Football League's first half century, but have not achieved this accolade since 1936. Their other notable successes include FA Cup glory in 1937 and 1973 and winning the Division One title with a (then) English league record of 105 points in 1999. Sunderland's longest stadium occupancy so far was of Roker Parkmarker for 99 years beginning in 1898, with relocation taking place due to the stadium's confined location and the need to build an all-seater stadium. The initial relocation plan had been for a stadium to be situated alongside the Nissan factory, but these were abandoned in favour of the Stadium of Light at Monkwearmouthmarker on the site of a colliery that had closed at the end of 1993. The City also has two non-league sides, Sunderland Nissan F.C. of the Northern League Division One and Sunderland Ryhope Community Association F.C.marker of the Northern League Division Two.

See also



References

  1. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/profiles/00cm.asp statistics.gov.uk
  2. Alice in Sunderland, Bryan Talbot, 2007, ISBN 978-1593076733
  3. http://www.sunderlandecho.com/retro1950s/1958-Empire39s-dark-days.4178500.jp
  4. http://gostridge.net/page.php?pageid=14
  5. http://www.sunderlandecho.com/retro1980s/1989-Ghostly-tale.4331124.jp
  6. [1] $6 Million film deal for North East Murder film


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