Leisure & events

Smart technology can play a key role in making leisure and events more engaging and more attractive. In turn this encourages more participation in cultural and physical activities, boosting the well being of residents across the city.

Smart Playparks

In our smart city of Sunderland, we want to ensure that the experiences of people who live, work and play in the city are informed by technology. Our smart city vision ensures that no group is left behind, including those residents most invested in leisure and sporting activities.

Southwick’s Thompson Park has received new investment to become a modern, interactive play space with free, Superfast Wi-Fi and a Yalp Sutu Interactive Football Wall.



Developing innovative tech-led events is a crucial part of creating a vibrant and connected Smart City.

Our plans for large-scale tech-led events in Sunderland serve as a testament to our commitment to making our city an exceptional place to live. These events harness the power of our connectivity networks, ensuring seamless interactions and leaving a lasting impression on both residents and tourists.

As Sunderland City Council embraces a refreshed approach to events, we are committed to leaving no-one and nowhere behind in our Smart City; enabling Sunderland to be not only a smart place to live and work but also a smart place for both residents and visitors to play.

Through leveraging advanced connectivity networks across the city, we are driving exciting developments that transform leisure and event experiences. One such leisure development is the new football wall in Southwick’s Thompson Park, made possible by our Smart City connectivity networks. We are also pleased to have already delivered tech-led event experiences, such as Light Artistry at 2022’s Christmas Light Switch-On in Sunderland.

This is just the beginning of our vision for future events in Sunderland, where technology takes centre stage to create immersive and tech-led experiences. We anticipate opportunities for tech-enabled experiences at sports events (such as the triathlon and at the Stadium of Light), esports, and music events including stadium concerts, Sunderland Expo, and a refreshed tech-led approach to the city’s annual Festival of Light.

Tech-led experiences will be underpinned by the application of our smart city connectivity networks. Here are just some of the event experiences our networks could support:

  • 5G:
    • Interactive robots
    • Real time streaming and broadcasting including holograms
    • Live collaboration/interactivity across locations
    • Immersive experiences (augmented and virtual reality)
    • Mobile ticketing and contactless payments
    • Esports opportunities (e.g. Hado AR dodgeball)
    • Drones
  • Wi-Fi:
    • Gamified experiences
    • Digital inclusion at events ?
  • LoRaWAN:
    • Smart sensors for event management (e.g. monitoring crowd density for safety or air temperature for attendee comfort)

If you are interested in leveraging the power of our 5G, WiFi, or LoRaWAN networks for events in Sunderland, we invite you to get in touch with a member of our team.


Further details on these solutions can be found on our Innovation Challenges page.


For more information on how our networks and solutions could benefit your organisation, please contact us using our contact form. We would be delighted to discuss how our smart city capabilities can support you.