Patrick Melia
Patrick Melia
Chief Executive
Sunderland City Council

Patrick is driven by a desire to ensure the delivery of high-quality services that enable residents to live healthy, happy and independently economic lives, safely in their communities. He is leading a significant transformation programme within the council to make Sunderland a great place for residents to live, business to thrive and visitors to enjoy, and understands that strong partnerships across the public, business and voluntary and community sectors, with everyone working towards common goals, are fundamental to creating a connected, international city with opportunities for all. Patrick’s priorities for Sunderland include the major physical regeneration of the city centre, with plans being delivered at pace including the Riverside Sunderland development, described as the UK’s most ambitious regeneration project. Within the Riverside employment zone, set to create 10,000 jobs, to date over £100m of investment by L&G in new office accommodation has been secured, including the creation of City Hall, a new public services hub. Plans also include the building of 1,000 state of the art homes within modern, low carbon communities to be featured in the Sunderland Future Living Expo 2023, and the development of a vibrant cultural and leisure offer. Patrick is also leading a significant, multi-million-pound seafront regeneration programme comprising hotel, leisure and housing developments with the creation of a further 400 new homes. And he is driving the International Advanced Manufacturing Park and Hillthorn Park developments next to the Nissan UK plant, well on course to secure a combined £500m of private sector investment, creating 8,500 jobs. In addition, he was instrumental in the creation of the partnership with Nissan and Government on EV36Zero, a £1 billion flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub, with the city council leading a project to deliver a ground-breaking 'Microgrid' generating 100% renewable energy and saving 55,000 tonnes of carbon annually. Under Patrick’s leadership, Sunderland is establishing itself as a renowned Smart City at the forefront of the digital revolution. His Smart City vision is about ensuring no-one and no community is left behind and that the development and deployment of new technologies continues to drive social and economic regeneration and global competitiveness. Having introduced the UK’s first 5G ready wi-fi network in the city centre in 2019, 2020 saw Sunderland named the Smart City of the Year in the Digital Leaders 100 List, followed by the city council being named Connected Britain’s Digital Council of the Year in 2021. Successes include securing over £9 million of Government funding to deliver a ground-breaking 5G Connected Automated Logistics project and the creation of a 20-year strategic partnership between the council and BAI Communications to develop next generation digital infrastructure in Sunderland, including a private 5G small cell network. Based on a neutral host model, the first phase of delivery will see a backbone of 5G connectivity established in the city by Summer 2022. This all supports Patrick’s commitment to help address the challenges faced by the North East region and its people in the context of the UK’s exit from the EU and recovery from Covid-19, and he is co-chair of the Regional Coordination Group, leading on ambitious plans to contribute to the Government’s levelling-up agenda. Patrick, who secured a Masters in Business Administration at Durham University’s Business School has previously held roles at board-level in Police, Probation and the Health Sector. He is currently the Head of Paid Service for the North East Combined Authority and is a member of a number of strategic, regional and national boards including the UK5G Advisory Board and Local Trust.