Sunderland dentist threatened with closure by new £100m Sunderland bridge is saved

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Stuart Porthouse, and the Mayoress Marie Porthouse, with Hayley Robertson, of the UNW Dental Business Unit tax team, and from left to right, new owners Nigel Suggett, Iain Morrison and Paul Shenfine.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Stuart Porthouse, and the Mayoress Marie Porthouse, with Hayley Robertson, of the UNW Dental Business Unit tax team, and from left to right, new owners Nigel Suggett, Iain Morrison and Paul Shenfine.

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A dental practice which was threatened with closure by the building of Sunderland’s new £100million bridge has been saved after being bought out and moving into new premises.

Wessington Way Dental Practice, in Hylton Park Road, has been bought by three dentists and moved just 50 yards away.

We are delighted to have secured this new site and finally opened the doors after what has been a series of complex negotiations.

Iain Morrison, co-owner of Wessington Way Dental Practice

The move has saved the jobs of 10 people at the practice and also the treatment of thousands of patients, with the practice having been trading under the shadow of a compulsory purchase order for more than a decade since plans for the new Wear Crossing were put in place.

The new owners are Iain Morrison, Paul Shenfine and Nigel Suggett – who each own other dental practices in the region – and they were joined by the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Stuart Porthouse, and retiring former owner Martin Anderson, to celebrate the opening.

Mr Morrison said: “We are delighted to have secured this new site and finally opened the doors after what has been a series of complex negotiations.

“All the materials and equipment in here are the best that money can buy, and this new practice in the RTC North building has been custom built to meet all the latest sterilisation regulations.

“We currently have 2,500 patients, and hope that by bringing cutting edge dental techniques to Sunderland and by making ourselves accessible with late night and weekend opening and good parking, that we will grow this patient base.”

The team received help frombusiness advisers UNW to complete the deal.

UNW Dental Business Unit head and partner Alan Suggett said: “This is the most difficult deal I have brokered in my life, but it came off. There were so many issues, not least the timing of it all and the shadow of compulsory purchase over our heads, which made this an extremely complex purchase and relocation deal. But everybody involved from Sunderland City Council to the Care Quality Commission, the NHS to the lawyers and the new landlord and builder worked really, really hard to make this happen and bring it over the line in incredibly tight time scales.”