SUNDERLAND city centre’s new Travelodge hotel has taken a major step forward.
Work has started on the building’s steel and timber frame and progress on the High Street West site is well on schedule for the handover in November.
The £6million development will bring 82 much-needed hotel rooms to the city.
The project, being carried out by Kier Property and the Calmont Group, is supporting about 100 jobs through the building phase, with more than 60 per cent of the staff on site from the our area.
Eighteen permanent jobs will be created in the hotel, with a further 30 in a proposed retail and leisure development on the ground floor.
“We started on December 19, which is 14 weeks now and progress is going really well,” said project manager Chris Johnson.
The project has involved some unavoidable road and footpath closures, but Chris has been delighted with the reaction from neighbouring businesses.
“The community understand why we have to do what we do,” he said.
“They understand our requirements as well as us understanding theirs and we try to keep them informed.”
Calmont Group director Graham Brooker added: “This new development represents a significant investment in Sunderland and we have been very encouraged by the levels of investment elsewhere in the city, such as the expansion of the Bridges Shopping Centre and ongoing work to improve the city centre.
“The new hotel provides exciting opportunities on the ground floor for retail and leisure uses to further enhance the unique feel of Sunniside.”
City council leader Coun Paul Watson, his deputy Coun Harry Trueman and Cabinet Secretary Coun Mel Speding visited the site to see the progress.
“It is fantastic,” said Coun Watson.
“It sends out the right message to other businesses in the area and it is good to see investment in the Sunderland area.
“We are very grateful to everyone who is involved in this development.”