New milestone for project to transform former Binns building in Sunderland

The revamp of a landmark building in Sunderland is making good progress – having reached the end of the second phase of the building’s transformation.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 5:10 pm

Bishop Auckland-based Redfern Building Services has been refurbishing the former Grade II-listed Binns store in High Street West since 2017 for owners Tyne and Wear Building Preservation Trust (TWBPT).

Historically significant as the site where Binns first began to build its empire as a drapery and haberdashery store in 1811, the building is a key regeneration project for the city.

Paul Redfern, managing director of Redfern Building Services, said: “The most challenging aspect of this commission was Phase 1 as the buildings were truly dreadful, with evidence of major drug and alcohol use and years of decay.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Paul and Jack Redfern with Martin Hulse (centre) of Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust at the newly refurbished former Binns site.

“This project allowed us to provide a second chance for these buildings whilst contributing towards the region’s heritage, providing a fresh start and new

opportunities for this part of the city.”

Martin Hulse, trust manager for the TWBPT, said: “We have been working on this project for nearly six years and believe it will be a catalyst for further regeneration works and is one of the trust’s most important ongoing projects.

“Pop Recs Ltd, an independent record shop has bought one of the units and is planning to turn it into a music venue with a coffee shop inside. There is also strong interest over the site from an online food retailer who is looking to have a high street presence.

"This is a very exciting time for the city."