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Beacon of Light receives royal attention

Beacon Of Light Sunderland Sport Education Workplace External Construction Progress Steel Frame Near Completion Lh

Partner Michael Hall was invited to Buckingham Palace with Foundation of Light Chairman of Trustees Sir Bob Murray CBE and Chief Executive Lesley Spuhler OBE to update Her Royal Highness, Sophie the Countess of Wessex GCVO on progress at the Beacon of Light. Her Royal Highness, as Patron of the Foundation, has taken a keen interest in the project.

Working with more than 38,000 people every year the Foundation of Light employs a team of more than 130 professional teachers, health workers, soccer coaches, family learning officers, youth workers, support staff and a network of volunteers, to deliver a special range of life-changing programmes.

Currently, the foundation teaches from classrooms within the Stadium of Light, in local schools, community centres and at bespoke outreach centres in and around Sunderland in the North East of England. However as the charity has grown it has established the need to locate itself within a bespoke environment to expand the scope of their work.

The first of its kind in the UK, Beacon of Light will be a unique centre consisting of engaging and interactive zones in education; health and fitness; sport and play; and the world of work.

Welcoming over 300,000 children, young people and adults through its doors every year, it will provide a vibrant and feel-good environment where people can meet socially; where they can learn and take part in courses to gain skills and qualifications; and where their fascination and love of football will start them on a journey that will help them make choices to improve their lives.

The Beacon of Light is separated into two distinct forms. A controlled, insulated box containing spaces for education, training, sport, and fitness, and a lightweight barn structure housing all-weather football pitches. By stacking these two forms on top of each other, the overall footprint is minimised, creating space outside for additional pitches.

This decision has had the added benefit of creating the appearance of a shining beacon which can be viewed from vantage points around the city, providing a clear sense of identity and purpose.

Beacon Of Light Sunderland Sport Education Workplace Model Exploded Floor Plates A L

Michael Hall, Partner at FaulknerBrowns, said: “"We are absolutely delighted to be involved in this exciting project. It will not only be a new landmark for the North East but provide an innovative new model for the integration of sport, health and education throughout the UK and Europe."

Sir Bob Murray CBE, Foundation of Light Chairman of Trustees, said: "I have no doubt the Beacon of Light will become a building of national importance and international reputation. The building will be leading edge and epitomises the pioneering approach and work of the Foundation.

"FaulknerBrowns have an eminent name and outstanding track record, so we are delighted to have such a strong a renowned team working with us to deliver our vision and to create something very unique and special in the region."