Sunderland's new City Hall 'worth more than £30million to Wearside economy'

Construction of Sunderland City Council’s new home has been worth more than £30million to the Wearside econmy, claims the firm carrying out the work.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 2:25 pm

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Bowmer + Kirkland says North East suppliers have benefited from a £30.59million boost, winning contracts associated with the building of the new 190,000sq ft hub, which stands on the former Vaux site as part of Riverside Sunderland, the council-led multi-million pound masterplan which will transform a 33.2 hectare site across both sides of the River Wear.

The firm’s figures show almost £20million of supply chain suppliers are local SMEs, helping support businesses and people across the region.

The figures are part of the company’s social value commitments, which are measured by the council and part of the local authority’s community wealth drive, to ensure projects it commissions support the social and economic prosperity of the city.

Work is progressing on City Hall

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Bowmer + Kirkland senior project manager Paul Anderson is overseeing the construction: “We are determined to ensure that the construction of City Hall reaps as many rewards as possible for local businesses and the local community too, and we’re really proud to be achieving that, with more than £30million spent with local suppliers, the lion’s share being SMEs,” he said.

“We have been able to add huge social value to this project, taking people out of long-term unemployment, supporting apprenticeships, engaging with young people to inspire them about careers available to them, and minimising the carbon footprint of this development through considerate choices – from recycling to avoiding single use plastics on site.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the local economy with this project, that will also transform the way residents access support services when City Hall opens later this year.”

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See Sunderland's new City Hall rise into skyline on old Vaux site
Bowmer + Kirkland is carrying out the work

Ellen Thinnesen, chair of the Sunderland Business Partnership and chief executive of Education Partnership North East which includes Sunderland College, said: “It’s fantastic to see the impact that this project has had on Sunderland’s economy already, with six months to go until completion.

“The investment in the next generation and in people who were long term unemployed is so commendable too. It is through real focused efforts to connect our communities into projects such as this that we can inspire them and ensure that the city sees the maximum benefit of every pound spent.”

Peter McIntyre, executive director of city development at Sunderland City Council said: “We have an absolute focus on social value, ensuring that every pound we spend delivers the greatest possible return for the city.

"City Hall is no exception and it’s pleasing to see the way in which local businesses, and in particular local SMEs are able to see the benefits of this transformational project, as well as local people thanks to Bowmer + Kirkland’s focused engagement with local schools and young people.”

An artist's impression of the new City Hall

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