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First look at The Cooper Rose Wetherspoons Roof Garden



After months of anticipation, the new roof garden has finally opened its doors as part of the major refit of The Cooper Rose in Albion Place, Sunderland.

The Wetherspoons pub reopened its doors in January after seven months closed following a full internal refit.

Now, after major structural works, which take the full refit total to £2.2million, the pub has opened its 3,000sq ft roof terrace from noon on April 29 – just in time for the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The Cooper Rose is one of the flagship bars in the chain’s North East venues and the terrace is a major new addition to the historic building, which has created 60 new jobs for the city, with recruitment ongoing.

The new terrace, seats around 200 people and has disabled access via a lift too.

The idea for the roof garden was first mooted ten years ago, so deputy manager Sam Bell says it’s fantastic to see it finally come to life. “This has been 10 years in the making and it looks phenomenal, I don’t think there’s anything like this in the city,” he said.

He added: “It adds so much to the pub. There has been a number of delays, but we really wanted to make sure it was perfect before we opened. There’s been a lot of interest from our customers and we’re looking forward to a good Bank Holiday weekend, especially if the weather stays like this.”

Speaking about the full refit, he said: “It’s been transformative. The pub wasn’t old, but it needed lightening up and taking the dance floor out and making it level has made it more access friendly. We also have a lift to the roof terrace so everyone can enjoy it.”

The new Cooper Rose roof terrace has the same opening hours as the pub: 8am-11pm seven days a week.


Tyne Bridge to Close for Several Weeks for £41m Restoration



Several weeks of overnight closures are planned in order to allow engineers to assess how bad a state the Tyne Bridge is in, before it can be restored to its former glory.

The long-overdue restoration is estimated to cost £41m in order to restore the bridge and refurbish the Central Motorway.

According to a local authority report, the inspection is expected to require the famous crossing to be closed from 10pm to 6am from June 13 to July 1. A number of roads underneath the bridge on the Newcastle Quayside are also due to be affected by the works – with closures due between May 16 and June 10 on Quayside, Lombard Street, Queen Street, and Akenside Hill from 8pm to 6am.

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “We submitted a bid for £41.4 million to Government which, if approved, will enable a four-year maintenance programme for the Tyne Bridge and the Central Motorway to go ahead. As part of the funding process, we are required to carry out some initial works on the Tyne Bridge.

“This includes a full inspection of the bridge, so we can assess its condition and the scale of works required to finalise the costings and project plans to fully restore and refurbish this major structure. This needs to be completed ahead of funding being approved.

“As we need to inspect the entire span of the bridge, overnight closures may be required on the bridge and roads underneath it, so engineers can complete this work safely. Details on the programming are being finalised.”

The Tyne Bridge has not had any major maintenance for two decades and its much-needed refurbishment has been at the top of council officials’ to do list for years, in the hope of ensuring it is looking its best once again by its 100th birthday in 2028. However, it has been warned that the grade II* listed structure may have deteriorated into a worse condition than currently known and council bosses have warned that, like on other major projects like the Grainger Market’s roof repairs, the refurbishment may take longer than expected.”

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Seaburn and Roker Beaches Named Best Beaches in the Country in 2022



Sunderland’s beaches have been named among the best in the country for the 11th year running.

Seaburn and Roker were both named as winners of the Seaside Award by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The pair were once again handed Blue Flags, marking them out for their for their excellent water quality, cleanliness and attempts to constantly improve visitor amenities.

The Blue Flag awards, now in their 35th year, are issued by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and act as ‘a quality mark so visitors can be sure the beaches boast top-notch facilities and meet the highest environmental standards’.

Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Vibrant City, said: “It is fantastic to see Sunderland’s beautiful beaches once again awarded the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Award.

“Flying these flags at Roker and Seaburn shows everyone who visits that our seafront has excellent quality bathing water and first-class facilities.

“We’re very lucky to have fantastic beaches with beautiful, clean water to swim and bathe in, and this national recognition is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in keeping our beaches clean, tidy and well-maintained.”

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Best of North East

Best Children Activities in the North East



Looking for a way to entertain the kids for the day? Well, lucky for you, we have rounded up the best children activities in the North East.


Whitehouse Farm Centre

From donkeys and pigs to mice and rabbits, expect to meet all your favourite farm animals and more! Whitehouse Farm is also home to striped skunks, marmoset monkeys, harris hawks, bearded dragons, curly haired tarantulas – the list could go on and on. We won’t tell you them all, so there’s still plenty to be surprised by. However, we can’t resist telling you, you are in for a treat as you will even have the chance to handle and feed the animals!

Credit: Whitehouse Farm Facebook

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