Sunderland’s new Premier Inn gets official opening date at last

Sunderland's new Premier Inn, on St Michael's Way in the city centre.

Sunderland's new Premier Inn, on St Michael's Way in the city centre.

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Sunderland’s new Premier Inn is finally open for business.

An official launch ceremony for the hotel, at the bottom of Chester Road, will be held on Friday, November 6 – more than six months after work on site was halted after the failure of developer GB Building Solutions.

The £7.5million development has created 45 new full and part-time jobs and two apprenticeships, ranging from receptionists and restaurant staff to housekeeping and maintenance. Almost half of the positions have gone to people aged between 16 and 24 and long-term unemployed.

Pupils at Red House Academy were invited to submit a piece of art which reflects their views on Sunderland ‘Then and Now’ and the winning artwork will be unveiled at the launch.

Premier Inn spokeswoman Louise Hope said: “We are very excited to be officially opening this new hotel in Sunderland and it’s great that we have created over 45 new jobs and two apprenticeships in the city.

“The hotel will not only help boost the city’s leisure and tourism industry but also help regenerate a fantastic area back into a thriving location.

“The official launch is a great way for us to showcase our new hotel and also officially unveil the winning artwork by a very talented pupil at Red House Academy.

“It will be a great day for everyone, including the team who I’m very proud of and will, of course, have the chance to join in the celebrations on our special day too.”

The hotel will feature 125 bedrooms boasting the company’s latest high-spec modern design. It will also include a 156-seater Thyme restaurant, with an additional 20-seater external terraced area and self-service check-in facilities.

GB Building Solutions – and parent company GB Group Holdings – called in administrators in March.

The Echo revealed at the time that North East Business and Innovation Centre-based SJL Brickworks could be left £200,000 out of pocket for work on the Hind Street site and another project it had carried out for the group in Newcastle. But the Wearside building firm, left thousands of pounds out of pocket by the collapse of the previous developer, is unlikely to see a penny of the cash owed.

SJL’s Vicky Nelson said the company was unlikely to see any of the money, given the scale of the collapsed firm’s debts.

“There is very, very little doubt that we won’t get anything back,” she said.

“We are just a drop in the ocean. We are not hopeful that we will get anything at all from either job.

“We have heard nothing from the administrators – we have just put it behind us.

“There is nothing coming – if it does it will be a penny for every pound.”