THE city of Sunderland has undergone tremendous change and development over the last decade. Here council leader Bob Symonds outlines the way the area has transformed itself.
The reputation Sunderland enjoys as a competitive location for business has been strengthened with new investment and jobs pouring in from around the world during 2007.
The city is proud of its status as one of the best places in the UK for business and the recent arrival of firms like Tacle UK and the Tanfield Group confirms that it’s a reputation well deserved. Investors are attracted to Sunderland by our ever-expanding portfolio of quality business parks.
Great strides have been made in regenerating and redeveloping the city and this is paying dividends.
Developments of the calibre of Doxford International Business Park have helped to reshape the fabric of the city and boost the area’s image, while work is continuing on Rainton Bridge Business Park to further expand the portfolio.
Doxford has been fundamental to Sunderland’s prosperity. Opened in 1992, it has been a key development in changing the face of Sunderland, becoming a magnet for big name international investors including Nike, Barclays, T-Mobile and EDF Energy.
The award-winning park is home to some 8,000 workers and businesses have the advantage of high capacity broadband infrastructure and a first class workforce.
Underpinning this success has been the hard work of the council and its dedicated business investment team.
It was a driving force behind the development of Doxford International – along with property developer Akeler – and works tirelessly behind the scenes to sustain a competitive business environment.
It continues to work in partnership with the private sector to attract fresh inward investment and create new jobs.
Regeneration projects totalling more than £2bn are currently under way, reshaping the city’s landscape and helping it achieve its aim of becoming the most liveable city in the UK.
Rainton Bridge South will host the next generation of knowledge-based businesses. Building on the Doxford blueprint, the council is working with its partner Maquarie Goodman to develop the business park.
Among the best in Europe, the £100m venture is expected to create over 4,000 jobs in 800,000sq ft of commercial space when complete. Development of the park’s second phase is now well on, with a range of office units available for businesses of all sizes.
Preliminary work has already started on Northern Rock’s 425,000 sq ft development, which will ultimately provide new jobs for 2,500 people.
A key attraction for investors are the telecommunications and network facilities available. This includes the state-of-the-art e-volve business centre – another reason why Sunderland has been named one of the most “IT intelligent” communities in the world.
The £8m building, which received its first tenants last year, is a developing hub for knowledge-based information and communication technology businesses.
The future looks bright too following the recent announcement that a new business park is to be created at Nissan.
The most productive car plant in Europe for the eighth year in succession, Nissan has been a cornerstone of Wearside’s economic renaissance and one of the reasons why the city is the fastest growing car making city.
The business park will create 690,000sq ft of mixed-use business space and bring an additional 4,000 jobs to the city.