WORK on a massive new supermarket which could create up to 500 new jobs could start this month.
Developer Terrace Hill has completed a funding deal to develop a Sainsbury’s store on the Jennings site in Riverside Road, Southwick.
It is now expected to award the contract to build the 100,000 sqft store to construction firm Bowmer & Kirkland.
The store will provide 400-500 jobs – about 90 per cent of which Sainsbury’s says will go to workers in Sunderland.
In a report on the scheme, consultants Nathaniel Litchfield and Partners said the spending power of new employees and the boost to Wearside-based suppliers would create scores of additional posts.
“The total gross employment impact of the proposed foodstore could be 545–605 jobs,” they said.
“This would result in a 6.3 per cent reduction in current levels of unemployment in the Sunderland area.”
Plans for the food store, six pump petrol filling station and 517 space car park were first submitted in November 2010.
Terrace Hill chief executive Philip Leech said: “The securing of forward funding is a significant step for the project, and underlines Terrace Hill’s ability to source financing for our developments, in spite of the challenging funding environment.
“We continue to see potential for further growth in the foodstore sector, and believe that our activities in this market will generate good returns on behalf of our shareholders as we progress this and our pipeline of opportunities.”
The Sainsbury’s store is one of several new supermarkets set to be built across Wearside.
Morrisons is planning a multimillion-pound new store and petrol station at Armstrong Road Retail Park, in Washington, which create 350 jobs.
Work has started on a new Tesco supermarket at Roker Retail Park and there are plans for a Tesco at Peel in Washington.
Planning permission has been granted for a new Lidl store and other retail units in North Hylton Road, expected to bring 250 jobs
The Echo reported in December that up to 500 jobs could be created after plans to build a major supermarket in Pennywell were unveiled.