The city of Sunderland is located on the River Wear, in the county of Durham, approximately 275 miles north of London and 12 miles south-east of Newcastle.
The city has a population of around 180,700. Administratively the metropolitan district of City of Sunderland covers an area of approximately 137 sq kms and has a population of 280,000.
Once renowned for its ship-building, it is a thriving industrial, commercial and retail centre which retains much of its industrial heritage. There are some notable historic buildings, including the Holy Trinity built in 1719, St Michaels's Church, built as Bishopwearmouth Parish Church and now known as Sunderland Minster, and St Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth, part of which dates from AD 674, and was the original monastery. There are many visitor attractions in the town and its surrounds.
Granted 'City' status in 1992, it's history began when it was formed from three medieval villages. By the end of the middle ages it was one of the wealthiest towns in England. Shipbuilding has taken place here since the 14th century and, by the mid 18th century, Sunderland was the chief shipbuilding town in the country.
Historically the town's prosperity was based upon ship-building, coal-mining, glass-making and port activities. Today, many of those past activities have been replaced by new industries including electronics, chemicals, and paper manufacture. The service sector is now a significant part of Sunderland's economy and the town is home to many high quality customer service telephone call centres.
The name Sunderland is believed to derive from the Scandinavian root 'Soender-land', meaning 'the land divided by the river', referring to its position at the mouth of the River Wear.
As it aims to become one of the best places to live in the UK, Sunderland is building a new image for itself, an image that reflects its green environ....