One of city’s hidden gems is brought back into commission

The inside of the building.
The inside of the building.
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New life has been breathed into one of Sunderland’s hidden gems.

Developer Siglion marked its first anniversary with a relaunch of the magnificent River Wear Commissioners’ Building at the corner of John Street and St Thomas’ Street.

Have you visited the building?

Have you visited the building?

The 1907 building is fitted out in marble and oak, with office space and a large boardroom, and Siglion believes it has major potential as a venue for weddings, christenings and meetings.

Chief executive John Seager said: “The River Wear Commissioners were formed in the 1700s and they opened up the port, dredged the river and set up the quays so international trade could take place.

“They had a massive influence on the achievements of Sunderland throughout the industrial period.

“They did so much for the social and economic wealth of the city and in a way, that’s what we feel Siglion can do because we are putting the infrastructure in place to create a vibrant and attractive atmosphere.

The River Wear Commissioners were formed in the 1700s and they opened up the port, dredged the river and set up the quays so international trade could take place. They had a massive influence on the achievements of Sunderland throughout the industrial period.

John Seagar

“People will come to the city because it’s a place they want to be – people work hard, the quality of life is great and it’s a fantastic place to have a business. There are opportunities here for everybody.”

The River Wear Commissioners were established in 1717 and played a vital role in Sunderland’s rise to become a major economic powerhouse, opening up the Wear to navigation and putting in place the infrastructure that allowed the town to become a global centre for ship-building. They were originally based at the Exchange Building in High Street East, before moving to the purpose-built offices, designed by North East architects Henderson and Hall.

The Wear Commissioners' Building.

The Wear Commissioners' Building.