SUNDERLAND’S new £6million business centre is ready to go.
The Washington Business Centre, on the Turbine Business Park, has been handed over to Sunderland City Council and is ready to receive its first tenants at the start of April.
It is expected to create or sustain more than 200 jobs.
City Council enterprise manager Berni Whitaker, who will run the new centre, said: “It is specifically designed to incubate new businesses but also give established businesses somewhere to expand.
“We are looking for businesses interested in taking more space and creating jobs in the city; that’s a great outcome for everyone.”
“It is mixed accommodation with different sizes and types of workspace.
“There are workshops, hybrid units – which include workshop and office space – and high-quality offices as well.
“Some of the tenants would potentially qualify for rent-free periods depending on the type of lease. The city council’s business investment team is able to offer support and is linked into external support, so it can signpost people to services we don’t provide ourselves.”
Washington Business Centre has already attracted interest from businesses in the training, consultancy, warehousing and ICT networking sectors and bosses are particularly keen to attract businesses in the low carbon economy.
Arun Mistry, of developer Barmston Developments, said: “We have been delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Sunderland City Council on the Washington Business Centre, which occupies a prominent position at the entrance to Turbine Business Park.
“The success of the project was due to the close working relationship that was formed between Barmston’s design team and the city council months before the project started on site. The building was delivered on time and to budget.”
Coun Harry Trueman, city council deputy leader and chairman of the council’s Washington Area Committee, received the keys to the centre from the developers.
“The Washington Business Centre is fantastic new facility to develop Sunderland’s economy and grow jobs, not just in the new and expanding low carbon industry, but across a range of sectors,” he said. “We are delighted with Barmston’s work in creating this stunning new building, and are confident it will quickly attract new and growing businesses creating new jobs and prosperity for Sunderland.”
The Washington Business Centre was developed with support from the European Regional Development Fund.