Located adjacent to the city’s famous Stadium of Light football ground, the centre is said to be the first of its kind in the UK and will include engaging and interactive zones for education, health and fitness, as well as sport.
The Beacon is also the final project of the wider regeneration of the former Monkwearmouth colliery site. Other projects on the site, as well as Sunderland FC’s stadium have included a hotel and an aquatics centre with a 50m competition pool.
Built over three-storeys and occupying 4.75 hectares, the Beacon is a large cube-shaped steel-framed structure, which will be illuminated at night.
At ground floor level the building will accommodate a large multi-use sports and performance hall, adjacent to which sits a three-level teaching and learning block. Above this, and topping the entire structure, is an indoor 4G football pitch.
To create the open-plan column-free spaces needed for the facility’s sports areas, a series of 4m-deep trusses are being installed by steelwork contractor Harry Marsh [Engineers].
The largest of the trusses top the football pitch and support the roof of the Beacon. They measure 60.5m-long and weigh 13t each. In order to transport the trusses to the project, and for ease of erection, they were brought to site in three sections.
Working for main contractor Tolent Construction, Harry Marsh [Engineers] is erecting a total of 880t of steel for the project.