New Wear Crossing 2018

Call for proposals for major artistic commission

In spring 2018 a new bridge will open in Sunderland across the Wear, linking Pallion to the south of the river with Castletown to the north for the first time. Sunderland Culture and The Cultural Spring, working with Sunderland City Council, are seeking proposals for a large scale participatory arts commission to help celebrate the new bridge by developing a cultural programme that creatively explores the way communities in the city connect to one another and Sunderland’s connections to the wider world.

The commission will be the first project as part of Sunderland Culture’s Great Place Programme. The city is one of 16 pilot areas for the Great Place Scheme, jointly funded over three years by the National Lottery through Arts Council England (ACE) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of communities. The scheme is a key plank of Sunderland’s cultural renaissance and will ensure that Sunderland’s communities are at the heart of this change – making connections and effecting tangible difference to people’s lives in the future.

Artistic Commission Brief

As part of Sunderland Culture’s Great Place scheme they are seeking proposals for an artistic commission, to work with local people to be part of the celebrations around the New Wear Crossing, and in doing so share a positive story about our distinct communities, and how we live together.

They are interested to hear from artists and organisations working across all artforms and anticipate that the commission will begin in late January / Feb 2018, culminating in the presentation of the final work around June / July 2018 (exact date tbc). The bridge is likely to be open and operational from spring 2018, with the official opening happening in the summer.

We would like applicants to consider how they will use the operational opening to ‘launch’ the project, raise its profile and engage communities in the process – potentially with a moment of sharing or exchange happening on the bridge, whilst working towards completion of the project for the Official Opening.

The commissioned artist / organisation will be required to engage local residents on both sides of the New Wear Crossing including Southwick, Castletown, Pallion and Millfield, and including members of BME communities.

Deadline is 14th December and applications must be sent to 

For all the information and for the application process please click here