Port of Sunderland snaps up land to pave the way for expansion

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SUNDERLAND’S port is growing.

Bosses have snapped up a number of warehouses at South Docks as part of a buy-out of land that will help attract new investment.

Port director Matthew Hunt said: “We’ve increased warehouse capacity with the acquisition of sites around the port, including North Moor Street on the approach to the port.

“This has allowed us to occupy additional office space at the main entrance that will act as a quarter for the port authority to eventually grow into.

“The position of the warehouse means we have been able to add some really clear signage that makes the entrance of the port much more visible too, so it has been a positive step forward for us.”

The new acquisition comes after calls to invest millions of pounds in the port to help it remain competitive.

City Tories warned that Sunderland Council needed to invest in infrastructure at the site to ensure it did not lose business to the Port of Tyne.

They also suggested bringing in a commercial partner to part-own the port and invest while the council retains a special share.

Council leader Paul Watson, chairman of the Port of Sunderland board, said the latest investment was proof that the authority was committed to developing the site.

“The demolition work and, indeed, the raft of other developments over the last few months are all helping the port to become even more attractive to potential customers seeking a base.

“Taking possession of various sites at the port means that we can offer up broader expanses of land for development.

“This, in turn, gives us greater flexibility when working with customers to offer them space that genuinely fits with their needs.”

He added: “Takeover of space at the entrance of the port means that we are in a position to make access points as attractive as possible, adding new signage on the gable ends of the buildings and, in turn, sending out a very visible sign of the port’s growing prominence within the city.