Bingo company plan to build £5million headquarters in Sunderland

An artist's impression of the new Tombola headquarters in Sunderland.
An artist's impression of the new Tombola headquarters in Sunderland.
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An online bingo company is planning to build a new £5million headquarters in Sunderland.

Tombola, who create and develop original bingo software and online games is working with award-winning and internationally renowned Ryder Architecture to build a new company HQ next to its current base at Wylam Wharf.

“We want to create the best working environment for our team and hope to build the best office campus in the region,” said Tombola chief executive Phil Cronin.

“One of the things that we’re particularly proud of is that we produce all our own original gaming software and we’re one of the largest employers of game and web developers in the region.

“Originating and developing the best gaming software means attracting and retaining the best talent in a growing and highly competitive market. Providing world-class facilities for our team – and future employees – will help us achieve this.”

The gaming giant employs 310 people in Sunderland, with its tech team currently working in its Rose Line Building headquarters and in other nearby office space. Its proposed new 25,000 sq ft office would create a tombola ‘campus’ on the site.

Ryder won a design competition for the contract and Ronnie Graham, who led the Ryder team, said: “The design has been led by the user experience. We have created a great working environment that reflects the culture of Tombola and the importance they place on their people. It also creates a strong visual presence to complement and echo the rich industrial heritage of the area.

“We’ve worked closely together to create a campus environment on the site. The design incorporates a transparent east façade which reinforces the building’s connection with the riverside and adjacent Rose Line building, and a ground floor dedicated to social and support accommodation including a bistro, gym and a large central atrium.”

Tombola wanted to ensure there was a clear link between the new building and the area’s shipbuilding heritage. The company’s current HQ, the Rose Line building, is a former bonded warehouse, dating from the late 1700s. It is one of only two warehouses surviving in what was formerly a densely occupied commercial quayside area.

Mr Cronin added: “Ryder have designed a landmark building of timeless quality that will attract a renewed pride in the city’s employment prospects and help us provide facilities to continue to develop and nurture our teams in flexible, stimulating and engaging surroundings.”

A planning application has already been submitted to Sunderland Council and if given the go-ahead, the building could be completed by September or October next year.