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Original pit wheel set for installation

27 February, 2023

An original pit wheel from Washington is being restored and installed in Albany as part of planned heritage improvements

The large heritage asset, recovered from Washington's F Pit Museum, is currently in the early stage of restoration, and will be installed at Albany with works starting on site today [Monday February 27th].  Preparation work will get started over the next few days for the wheel to take centre stage on a raised plinth, as a distinctive community focal point.  The wheel is being brought back to its best as part of the F Pit regeneration project and will eventually stand in landscaped public realm when wider improvement plans for the area move forward.

Councillor Linda Williams, vibrant city cabinet member at Sunderland City Council, said the wheel will 'act as a proud reminder of Washington's heritage as a coal mining town.'

She said: "Washington, like many parts of Sunderland, has a proud industrial past, and whilst there is no question that we are a forward-looking place, it's important that we recognise the role those before us played in establishing the area as an industrial powerhouse, something it remains today with new industries leading the way.

"Restoring the wheel once used in Washington F Pit means that we now have a reminder of the past on display that is authentically Washington's - a wheel that is now at the heart of the community, helping our residents and visitors to celebrate our rich heritage.  It's wonderful to see this project moving forward, which complements recent completed capital repairs at F Pit Museum that we have led .  I am looking forward to seeing the landscaping that will follow the initial wheel installation, ensuring this becomes a prominent reminder of our amazing past."

The wheel will stand in Albany near to Washington F Pit Museum, which includes an engine house and winding gear built on top of one of the earliest colliery shafts in the country.  The F Pit Museum is one of the few remaining physical reminders in Washington of the countless colliery installations that once dominated the skyline, and has undergone a £310,000 repair package, including roof, window, brick, render and internal joinery repairs. The Council is currently developing regeneration proposals for F-Pit Museum and Albany Park that will enhance the heritage offer and visitor appeal of this unique site, including a new heritage centre and café and improvements to rejuvenate the park.

You can keep up to date with developments at Let's Talk F-Pit and Albany Park - Sunderland City Council

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