North East & Yorkshire

Award winning lighting scheme for Sunderland

 Roker Seafront Lighting Scheme-  Sunderland

A feature lighting scheme for Roker seafront in Sunderland has won a Local Government News’ (LGN) 2012 Street Design Award.

The scheme for Marine Walk, part of Sunderland City Council’s Seafront Masterplan, has been awarded LGN’s Public Lighting Award 2012.

Developed by Aurora Street Lighting and working alongside the City Council’s in-house landscape architects, the scheme was funded by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) Sea Change fund.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson said:

“The City Council is committed to improving green spaces in Sunderlandand we are thrilled that this work has been recognised in this way.

“We are absolutely delighted with the improvements which have been made. As the winning entry in the LGN’s Public Lighting category, Marine Walk has received fantastic feedback far and wide and is just one of a number of developments which form our ongoing seafront regeneration.

“Our £3.6m transformation ofBarnesPark in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund has also been tremendously received by those who have visited it. Although the park narrowly missed out on being named winner of the LGN’s Urban Green Space award, the feedback from the independent panel of judges was extremely encouraging and we are delighted once again with the recognition of the improvements made.”

Editor of Local Government News, Laura Sharman, added:

“I was delighted to announce that Marine Walk was chosen as the winner of the Public Lighting category in the 2012 Street Design Awards. Our judges were extremely impressed by the work Sunderland City Council has done in transforming the seafront and how the new lighting scheme will contribute to the economic success of the area.”

With the new lighting scheme in place a 12-month lighting cycle is currently on display which takes into account a variety of design schemes that are showcased throughout the year. The designs were chosen by members of the public and will light up the area by night, whilst during the day the bespoke lighting columns will provide an attractive addition to the area.

The cliffs at Holey Rock Corner are being lit using Philips Colorburst LED spotlights, while the beach is lit using Philips ColorBlast LED floodlights. All of the lighting is controlled from a central location using a DMX controller.

The lighting has not only improved lighting along the seafront it has also reduced energy costs by 50%.

Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Mel Speeding added:

“The brief was to develop a modern, sustainable take on the once popularSunderlandilluminations. We asked people to give us their ideas through a design competition, which invited residents to choose a collection of different colour arrangements for different months of the year.

“This proved really popular with local schools and from the 100 plus entries received we chose fifteen winning designs, which included designs for each month of the year, Valentine’s Day, Bonfire Night and RNLI day.

“The lighting, along with other public realm improvements, has transformed Roker Seafront and extended the lifetime of the resort into the evening. You can now see people using and enjoying the space every day. It’s an attractive and dramatic events space.”

Launched in 2009, Sunderland’s Seafront Regeneration project was introduced to make important improvements to both the beach and seafront inSunderland.

The first completed phase of the scheme comprised the transformation of Roker Seafront into a dynamic events space, complete with cliff-side lighting.

The recently transformed site includes a new raised viewing area with feature steps, a stage/performance area and the new lighting scheme. In addition, the phase included new bench seating and new paving, whilst an historic path underwent a series of refurbishment.

Locally sourced granite and magnesian limestone was used as the main construction material in the Roker Seafront project as it perfectly links the new improvements with the existing landscape.


Working closely with Balfour Beatty Living Places, and in conjunction with Philips Lighting, LITE Ltd co-designed and provided a programmable and highly flexible street lighting scheme to upgrade the very popular beach area, at Marine Walk, Roker Beach Sunderland.

With the focal point being a new natural amphitheatre, located near the cliffs, and the entrance to Roker Park and other well know local landmarks, the design brief was to create a colourful lighting scheme to enhance the environment. Involvement of the local community, with the choice of colours decided by a local competition held in the nearby primary schools, it is hoped will encourage the local community to make more use of the space for event based activities.

One of the major features of the lighting scheme is the 255 event programmable lighting controller. Based on an anatomical clock, which automatically controls the start and finish times of the lighting, according to the time of year, it enables the lights to be used to highlight special occasions such as Valentine’s day, Saints days and Christmas/New Year.

To provide night time illuminate to both the cliffs and the beach, specially designed variable height lighting columns, which complied with normal road use, were designed and manufactured. On these were mounted the high efficiency Phillips DALI dimmable CosmoPolis lanterns which provide low operating costs and high performance and produce a warm white light. These were combined with high-performance ColorBlast and ColorBurst high-intensity LEDs to generate rich, saturated colours and colour-changing effects for a range of wall-washing and floodlighting applications.

Activated by a lighting controller, located in the feeder pillar the wireless system runs along the whole 450 m frontage. Located within each column a DALI to DMX converter allows the feature lighting to commence once the lanterns are dimmed. The wireless controls were sourced and supplied by LITE and integrated into the columns with special high powered aerials from Lumenradio.

The Stone Chef LTD

Nigel Fenwick, at the cutting edge of landscape design, has burst through even his own boundaries with the creation of his rock chair series. Innovative, wild and full of spirit, these beautiful river rocks and boulders will grace any garden, parkland or grounds.

Based in Porlock, West Somerset, Nigel designs primarily from this village within the Exmoor National Park. He chooses his stone from sustainable sources and is fully involved with each design piece from the conception to its birth in the flesh. And anything from stone is possible, hence his reputation as “The Stone Chef.

The Stone Chef offers a complete service, from the bespoke creation of the stone, through to transportation of it to its destination.

Current and past projects include universities, councils, National Trust, Eden Project, Hilton Hotel, English Heritage and island projects.

On the Roker Seafront project The Stone Chef LTD supplied all of the stone chairs on the site. Due to the success of the project The Stone Chef LTD will be supplying additional chairs on the remainder of the ongoing improvement scheme.

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