The buildings changed ownership transfer from Sunderland City Council to TWBPT February 2018 and a phase of emergency works was immediately undertaken. At the time, they looked like this, and were one of the key reasons why the Conservation Area was on the national ‘Heritage at Risk’ register.
With a lot of help from local Community Interest Company Pop Recs and their volunteers it soon looked like this. (picture Aug / Sept 2018). They worked really hard to have the shopfront painted, but also the inside of the building on the left (170 High Street West) cleaned and painted, and ready for their first gig. There really was a lot to do for the building to be in reasonable state (170) to be used! However, the middle building had no floors or roof (as you can see in the picture), so we also had to start drawing up planning applications, commission design work, and apply for funding for all of the work needed to be paid for.
On the 10th of July 2018 We celebrated the ‘opening’ of the left building (170) with a gig by Field Music organised by local partner Pop Recs, and the building was then opened as a temporary events base. We for example opened it for a day during Heritage open Days in September 2018, and a local folk singer performed some traditional Sunderland songs.