Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards: Focusing on the future

Sunderland City Council's Tom Hurst, chief investment officer, Janet Snaith, head of business investment and Councillor Bryan Charlton, portfolio holder for Prosperous City at the Evolve building, Rainton Bridge, the new location for Sunderland City Council's Business Investment team.
Sunderland City Council's Tom Hurst, chief investment officer, Janet Snaith, head of business investment and Councillor Bryan Charlton, portfolio holder for Prosperous City at the Evolve building, Rainton Bridge, the new location for Sunderland City Council's Business Investment team.
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SUNDERLAND City Council, the main sponsor of the Portfolio Business Awards 2011, is driving forward an entrepreneurial spirit which has helped to create more than 8,000 jobs in seven years.

Businesses, from micros to multinationals, are now thriving on Wearside.

The sustainability of the big names based in the city – including Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Deutsche Bahn, EDF Energy, Barclays, Liebherr, NPower, Lloyds TSB, T-Mobile, Nike and Berghaus – is matched by a host of smaller, innovative local organisations setting up and growing strongly.

The city’s collaborative approach and commitment to success lie behind its leading national position as a business location, especially in the automotive and growing software sectors.

City council leader Paul Watson said: “We work hard to make sure our businesses succeed.”

Sunderland is one of only a handful of UK cities to develop a 15-year masterplan for economic growth, which offers opportunities to develop the city’s economy.

The plan sets out the direction of the city’s economy up to 2025 and the roles its businesses, university, college, public and voluntary sector partners can perform by working together, driving innovation and underpinning strong, focused future growth.

In automotive, software and low carbon sectors, Sunderland is already ahead of the game.

The city is the UK’s Low Carbon Economic Area for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles, Nissan is celebrating record-breaking production levels this year, and the construction of the Software Centre to house 60 more software companies in the city centre is almost complete.

The workforce, modern offices and industrial parks, and excellent transport links mean that organisations of all sizes benefit by being in Sunderland.

Janet Snaith, the council’s head of business investment, said: “Times have been tough, but we have strong partnerships across the city.

“We have a track record of making things happen in Sunderland.

“We have a shared passion and commitment to success and this gives all our businesses a strong platform for growth in the future.”

To find out more about doing business in Sunderland, call 561 1171 or visit the council’s website by clicking here.