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Siglion puts art to work for Seaburn regeneration

The sea front at Seaburn is getting a mix of retail and art to reinvigorate this resort quarter of Sunderland.

Project lead and Chief Executive, John Seager of Siglion, who has been speaking to Future Cities Forum says art is being used to add interest and celebrate the area's identity and character:

'Historically the resident population has tended to distrust developers, so we wanted to engage with as many people as possible, using art as a vehicle to reflect the family associations with shipbuilding and coal-mining. We realised we could do much more with art than just putting up a few statues.'

Nationally renowned local artist, Simon Watkinson, has been appointed to lead on designs for the public realm and the landscaping, to create spaces in Seaburn that will appeal to both residents and visitors. Simon, who won a Northern Design Award in 2016 for a cast aluminium floor in St Peter's Church, Wearmouth, will work with landscape architects Landscape Projects and urban designers PAD Design to transform the resort's outside spaces.

So far improvements by Sunderland City Council to the seafront have seen traditional promenades transformed into naturalistic coastal gardens with more than 150 speciies of plants.

Siglion is the joint venture set up in 2015 by Sunderland City council and Carillion with Igloo Regeneration providing fund and asset management to carry out the city's biggest ever regeneration project across five major sites including the Vaux brewery. The twenty year project is aimed at improving the concentration of economic activity in the city centre with higher value job creation, while offering a wider choice of housing to the market

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