Up to 60 jobs are to be created on Wearside, with a new lease of life for the Sunderland Echo’s former home at Pennywell.
Kitchen and bathroom specialist Tecaz has bought the former Echo House on the Pennywell Industrial Estate after the news operation moved into modern premises in the city.
The firm has taken over the 89,000 square feet building and surrounding 5.6acre site and will convert it into warehouse space.
Financial director Ken Dawson said the site’s location made it perfect for servicing the firm’s business both locally and further afield.
“The site is ideally placed, with easy access to the A19 to feed our three retail stores in North Shields, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, plus facilitate delivery to our escalating national internet business,” he said.
“Although we already have 80,000 square feet of warehousing at North Shields, Sunderland and Stockton, the additional high bay warehousing will enable us to double our already comprehensive range and stockholding.
“The building is to be extensively renovated, with updated IT systems, high bay pallet racking and a showroom to complement our website business.
“The increase in capacity will provide the area with up to 60 new jobs when fully operational.”
The Echo moved to its new home at the Rainton Bridge business park last month, ending an association with Echo House that had lasted almost 40 years.
It was in 1976 that the Echo moved out of the Bridge Street site that had been its home for a century and into the new offices overlooking the A19.
For almost 40 decades, the sight of ‘Scorer,’ the Football Echo man on the side of the building was a familiar sight to Wearsiders.
But printing at Pennywell ceased in October 2012 and the decision was taken to move.
Journalists, advertising and admin staff are now based on the Rainton Bridge Business Park, while Sunderland Antiquarian Society has taken over guardianship of the Echo’s vast archives.-