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City Plan

Sunderland is a fantastic, forward-looking city undergoing significant transformation and economic regeneration. It has a global reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place in which to live, work, achieve, play and belong.

To guide further progress we have refreshed our City Plan which provides the blueprint for all partners and communities to work together to achieve our shared economic and social ambitions for Sunderland, which collectively guide the city's continued transformation. Ambitions include ensuring:

  • Everyone's talent is nurtured - our children and young people are achieving the best outcomes, and whatever your aspiration, you can achieve it in Sunderland
  • Inward investment, job creation and high performing businesses and employers create opportunities for all residents of the city, with Sunderland making a significant contribution to the UK's economic growth
  • People live healthier, longer lives - health and wellbeing outcomes are significantly improved and life is better because we live in Sunderland, rather than any other place
  • Sunderland is a place recognised for its natural assets; the city has an accessible, strong and growing offer for residents and visitors - it's easy to find something that captures the imagination in Sunderland
  • Our people and communities thrive and feel pride; everyone is playing their part
  • Sunderland will play its role in tackling the global challenge of climate change, working together across the city to be carbon neutral by 2040

View the City Plan

In working to deliver on these ambitions, the City Plan is focussed on our bold and ambitious vision to create a connected, international city with opportunities for all. To achieve this, the City Plan has three themes:

  • Sunderland will be a Dynamic Smart City with more businesses, housing and cultural opportunities creating a stronger city centre.  Children will have equitable opportunities and the best life chances. More local people will have great skills and qualifications matching employer needs, and there will be increased employment in more jobs that are fulfilling and better compensated. It will have great digital technology supporting a low carbon city, with great transport links with low carbon and active travel opportunities for all
  • It will be a Healthy Smart City where more people live healthier, longer lives as health inequality gaps are reduced. It will be a clean and attractive city where people feel safe in their homes and neighbourhoods. There will be more and better housing and great support and social care that enables those who need it to live the life they want to lead; and
  • It will be a Vibrant Smart City with more resilient residents and cohesive communities in the face of ongoing challenges including the cost-of living crisis. There will be a range of opportunities for people to be active and participate in their communities. More people will visit Sunderland with more residents shaping and participating in cultural or sporting events. Residents will feel a strong sense of pride about the city and the place where they live.

The city's people and communities are at the heart of the City Plan, which continues to be delivered at pace with significant investment and developments underway, and more to come.

An important element of the City Plan is the accompanying Indicative Timeline, as it provides a flavour of what we are doing to deliver the plan and achieve our vision to create a connected, international city with opportunities for all. The timeline shows key projects that are currently underway and those planned in subsequent years.

The City Plan is our sole strategic plan for the period 2024 to 2035. Progress is managed through the Corporate Performance Management arrangements including the quarterly Corporate Performance Reports to Cabinet.

In line with the council's, and our partners' approach to carbon reduction and cost saving, the City Plan is published electronically only.

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