Work begins on new £20million Tesco and Home Bargains site at former Houghton Colliery
Clearance work at the former Houghton Colliery site is under way in preparation for a £20million retail development.
The site, which is being developed by North East based property and construction firm, Hellens Group in conjunction with Fintry Estates, is due to open next Spring.
Working closely with Sunderland City Council, Hellens and Fintry have funded the development with real estate investment firm, LXi REIT.
The development will feature a new 4,200sqm Tesco supermarket while Home Bargains will open a 1,900sqm store on the site with the two sites in total expected to create around 100 new jobs for the area.
Plans for the redevelopment of the colliery site have been in the pipeline since a Sunderland City Council cabinet meeting in 2019 agreed to sell the site to Hellens.
A four-way contest to buy the plot was originally won by Urban and Civic, who subsequently withdrew from the transaction so the council approached Hellens Group Ltd who were the “second-ranked bid”.
Hellens Chief executive Gavin Cordwell-Smith welcomed the start of work: “We are delighted to begin clearance work on the former colliery site with construction due to commence in May this year.
“As a Sunderland-based company, we are committed to supporting local regeneration projects and seeing the area benefit from multi-million pound developments. The support from Sunderland City Council has been invaluable in unlocking this particularly challenging brownfield site.”
Cllr Kevin Johnson, Dynamic City Cabinet Member at Sunderland City Council and Houghton councillor, said: “The redevelopment of the former Houghton Colliery site is a project we have been working on for some time, so we’re absolutely thrilled to see work progressing on the scheme.
“We made a commitment last year to review our procurement systems to “keep the Sunderland pound in Sunderland” whenever possible, by prioritising local spend, and in Hellens Group we have a partner which is helping us do just that.
“It’s a local business, employing local people and working with local contractors to deliver a project which, alongside the new public artwork being created by Sam and Ray Lonsdale, will be truly transformational for the local people of Houghton and we’re delighted to be supporting the project.”