The pods arrived at Roker, Sunderland in July 2013 as part of a scheme supported by CABE Sea change Funding, a funding pot designed to support new innovate ways of improving and developing seafronts in the UK.
The pods are powered by renewable energy through sustainable electrical systems using a combination of solar PV panels and wind turbines on the roof of each pod. These also power the LED lights around the centre of them, showing a ring of lights in the evenings. Lighting is part of the regeneration theme along the coast at Sunderland, with a full scheme of coloured lighting all up the seafront at Roker.
The three pods have been split into:
- The RokerPods – these two pods are used for events and activities, concentrating particularly on educational uses. These pods are available for hire and are managed by us. The two pods are slightly different inside, one has a seating bench and TV/DVD system, and the other has no internal furniture. The pods can be hired together or individually.
- RokerPod Cafe – this privately managed pod offers hot and cold drinks and snacks, beach toys and the obligatory seaside ice-cream. On fine days seating and tables will be out on the terrace (there is no space inside the cafe) so you can enjoy your refreshment with a view! The RokerPod Cafe has deckchairs for hire and postcards for sale.
Find out more about how to hire the Pods.
Other works to the seafront have included new lighting, street furniture, paving and traffic calming too, the project has opened the door to future funding to improve the seafront for residents and visitors which in turn supports businesses in the area.
The RokerPods are part of the bigger picture in terms of the ongoing regeneration of the seafront, which is set to see £5m of investment over the next few years
This includes further promenade improvements at Marine Walk, a £1.35m rolling programme of restoration for Roker Pier and private sector investment in the seafront
The pods came out of a consultation on the regeneration of the seafront – some of the things that came out of this were the need for outdoor educational space, more cafes and facilities for activities, entertainment and events.
The unusual design of the pods played a major role in helping Sunderland City Council secure the £1m CABE Sea Change award which was very much focussed around arts and heritage.
Find out more about seafront regeneration.