Plans are due to be submitted to open a 140 bed hotel development under the Hilton brand next door  to SAFC’s Stadium of Light.

The project is being led by newly-formed company Sunderland FC Developments after the city council acquired the land in between the Sunderland Aquatic Centre and the Black Cat House office and ticket block.

Although the new development firm is affiliated to SAFC and involves club employees the hotel plan will not affect footballing matters or divert funds from footballing matters.

It is hoped the hotel will boost conferencing and events at the Stadium of Light which can host up to 700 guests for dinner, 600 conference delegates and up to 2,000 for large scale exhibition.

Consultation will be carried out with the public in the coming weeks, followed by the submission of a planning application. The build is scheduled to begin from early 2014 and the hotel will open in summer 2015.

Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, commented: “This is a very exciting development for Sunderland and a statement of confidence in our city and its future, by arguably the most famous hotel chain in the world.”

“Having such a quality hotel on Stadium Park will have a tangible economic impact on our city, and particularly its city centre. Stadium Park, through the Stadium of Light and the Aquatic Centre, welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, through football matches, concerts and other major events and this extra hotel provision will unlock further growth and development in the city through leisure and business tourism.”

In addition to the positive impact on the economy when the hotel opens, the construction will create up to 150 jobs, plus additional work within the supply chain and once completed, the hotel will create 100 full and part-time jobs.

The outline plans can be viewed at www.sunderland.gov.uk.

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