Sir Bob Murray and Lesley Spuhler, CEO of Foundation of Light

Sir Bob and Lesley Spuhler, CEO, Foundation of Light

THE Premier League and the Foundation of Light teamed up to tell Ministers and MPs about some of their pioneering work and an exciting new project in the House of Lords this week.

Baroness Jay of Paddington who sponsored the event with Sunderland MP Julie Elliot, outlined some of the ground-breaking work being undertaken in the north east by the charity and also revealed plans for the Beacon of Light.

She said: “The Beacon of Light will be an inspirational, multi-functional Centre of Opportunity – bringing people, communities and agencies together to make an outstanding and long lasting difference to people’s lives.”

The £15m development, which will be built  in Sunderland and  operated by the Foundation of Light, will expand the award-winning work of the charity using the power of football and sport to engage people in activities designed to improve their lives, and the lives of those around them.

Chair of Trustees Sir Bob explained: “The Beacon will be a vibrant and exciting education and sports facility. It will include four imaginative, inspiring and innovative zones and fuse together sport, education, the world of work and health and well-being like no other place in the UK.”

Julie Elliot MP added: “Despite the ground-breaking efforts of the Foundation of Light and  local agencies, Sunderland and the northeast is still an area with its challenges. The Beacon of Light will empower and encourage people to learn more, do more and be more.”

Architect and TV presenter George Clarke is from Sunderland and also a trustee of the Foundation of Light. He is passionate about the power of architecture to change communities: “I’m a firm believer in the ability of architecture to inspire people and transform lives – the Beacon of Light will be the epitome of this in a very literal sense.

“Stadium Park, where the Beacon of Light will be based has an annual footfall of over one million people. It was an ambitious project when envisaged, which has had a massive knock on effect for the city and surrounding region. The Beacon of Light will be the next game-changer on site.”