Business plan collapses for Sunderland seafront landmark

Businessman Tony Singh has taken an 18-month lease on the Pullman Lodge and has big plans to redevelop it.
Businessman Tony Singh has taken an 18-month lease on the Pullman Lodge and has big plans to redevelop it.
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TALKS over a deal to revamp a seafront landmark building have collapsed.

In May we reported that Tony Singh was in discussion with Sunderland City Council over an 18-month lease to take over the run-down Pullman Lodge.

The entrepreneur wanted to turn it into a wedding venue, and hold boxing matches on the site.

However, Mr Singh has now revealed that he has pulled out of the plan.

He said that the short-term contract was not long enough to justify the amount of money he wanted to spend on a complete revamp of the business.

Mr Singh, who operates Hedworth Hall Hotel in South Shields, told the Echo: “It’s not going to go ahead.

“Eighteen months is just not long enough for what I wanted to do.

“If the council said I could have 10 years, I would go ahead.

“I am very disappointed it’s not going to go ahead because I had big dreams for it.

“I wanted it to be the biggest venue on the seafront.”

The Pullman Lodge, which closed its train carriage doors after the collapse of Wearside syndicate Wylam Leisure in 2011, was bought by the city council for £1.6million as part of its plans to regenerate the seafront.

The deal with Mr Singh, who also owns former Wylam leisure venue The Queen Vic, at Roker, is a blow to redevelopment plans.

However, cabinet secretary Councillor Mel Speding, said: “When the Pullman’s previous owners went into administration, the council was able to purchase the site on behalf of the city in 2012.

“Together with neighbouring land holdings, ownership of the site has increased the council’s opportunity for delivering the masterplan.

“Prior to seeking a development partner to help deliver regeneration, the council continues to look at a suitable short-term lease for the Pullman building and there continues to be interest.

“There is further consultation this week on planned improvements for Whitburn Road between the Marriott Hotel and Morrison’s supermarket.

“The city council has long recognised that Roker and Seaburn seafronts have a key role to play in the city’s future.

“There has been extensive public consultation on the seafront’s future and these findings helped shape the 2011 Seaburn Masterplan.

“This masterplan is guiding development and regeneration, and in the last three years there has been more than £4million spent on seafront improvements.”