PHASE one of a boost for Sunderland shoppers is finished.
Demolition work is now complete on the Bridges’ £15million extension scheme,
Builders are clearing the space to start preparation work and the digging of foundations for the 60,000sq ft expansion.
Work started on schedule in September on a three-storey expansion, which will bring Primark to the centre for the first time, and has created about 150 jobs.
Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Norma Wright, was given a peek of how the development is progressing.
Coun Wright and Mayoress Coun Valerie Sibley enjoyed a private tour of the site, led by centre director Andy Bradley, with Dave Hodgekiss and Gavin Ward of contractor Morgan Sindall.
“There’s a lot going on behind the hoardings, and a great deal of significant progress has already been achieved on site,” said Andy.
“The team here at the Bridges has worked hard all year to ensure we create the right retail mix and environment in the centre.
“We’re continually reviewing our retailers to make sure we’re combining the right leading high street retailers, and the reaction we’re getting from shoppers is great.
“There’s more of them so we’re obviously delivering what they’re looking for.
“We wanted to show the Mayoress and Mayor around, so they were able to have a greater understanding of what we’re going to achieve here at the Bridges and so they can relay to the community just how significant this project is and the massive improvement it is going to make to city centre retail in Sunderland.”
Bridges owner Land Securities will deliver a three-storey circa 60,000 sq ft anchor store for Primark, which will be double the size of its current location and create an impressive new entrance on High Street West.
“As Mayor, I am always delighted to see improvements and investment in our city, and the expansion of the Bridges will give shopping in Sunderland another massive boost,” said Coun Wright, from Roker.
“We are all working together to help create and maintain a healthy business environment in Sunderland, and this development signals the strength and diversity of retailing and shopping in our city which can only be good news for the local and regional economy.”