One of the North East’s best-known landmarks is seeking support from professionals across the North East to ensure the sustainability of Sunderland’s seafront.

Since 2012, work has been taking place to conserve and sympathetically restore Roker Pier & Lighthouse thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding and Sunderland City Council.  Soon due to open to the public for the first time in its 113 year history, the attraction is now looking for experts from across a variety of fields to offer support during its foundation and development as a charity.

Matthew Storey, Project Coordinator at Roker Pier, said: “With plans to open the lighthouse for public tours later this year, and with the tunnel due to be opened next year it’s a really exciting time to get involved with the project, and this is the moment we’ve all been working towards.

“Roker Pier & Lighthouse represents so much of Sunderland’s rich maritime and industrial heritage and we know there are many people around the region who feel passionate about protecting this legacy. This is a great chance for people to get involved and use their professional expertise to make a really positive impact on Sunderland and the North East.  We hope being a trustee for the new charity will allow people to make a really significant contribution to the area’s economy and culture as they will play a really pivotal part in the protection and restoration of Sunderland’s incredible seafront.”

The trustees will help guide and support the charity during its foundation and development as a new organisation, as well as helping to manage the Grade II listed building.

Mr Storey added: “We’re hoping our trustees will each bring their own skills and expertise to the organisation to aid its growth in a number of key areas. From finance, marketing or legal, to heritage, tourism, events management or retail – all fields of professional experience are welcome to allow us to support the success of Roker Pier & Lighthouse throughout all different aspects of the organisation.

Public tours are due to start of the lighthouse from this autumn, with full tours of the lighthouse and tunnel starting next year following the completion of additional building work. The guided tours will be conducted by Roker Heritage Group volunteers, giving visitors an insight into the history of Roker Pier and its significance to the city’s maritime and industrial heritage.

To find out more about Roker Pier & Lighthouse, visit: www.rokerpier.co.uk