Restoration work begins on Sunderland’s Simpson Street school after it was devastated by fire

The preliminary work will clear the way for a full renovation of the derelict school building which will see luxury apartments created.

Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 1:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 1:04 pm

The work is being carried out by Durham based architectural and structural engineering business BDN, who are in the process of acquiring the site from Sunderland City Council.

Plans were revealed in March to covert the site into a large commercial office building and a number of luxury apartments.

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Councillor Graeme Miller (left) with architect Joss Ryan from BDN - the company who are in the process of acquiring the site.

BDN architect Joss Ryan has expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming project, should planning be approved.

He said: “We’re delighted to be on site and starting work that will ensure that this beautiful building is preserved and protected, ahead of work to give it a new lease of life.

“We hope that, subject to planning approval, our presence on-site will be the start of a much bigger programme that will deliver a stunning new residential offer for the city.”

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The fire caused severe damage to the roof of the former school.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller added: “We are delighted to see activity on the site of Simpson Street school.

“It’s a significant step forward and means that this building can very quickly be brought back to life.

“The strength of feeling when the building went up in flames earlier this year showed what an unpolished gem the school is, and I very much look forward to seeing it get a new lease of life under BDN’s guardianship.”

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