Sunderland's Bonded Warehouse set to become Tombola offices, creating 30 new jobs
Sunderland’s historic Bonded Warehouse could be transformed into offices under new plans from online bingo giant Tombola – creating 30 jobs.
Over the years it has been used as a bar and restaurant and for external events such as gigs and functions.
The events space was the first big venue to announce it would not be reopening in Sunderland and agreed to reimburse all private reservations.
Under new plans submitted to Sunderland City Council, the site could be used by online gaming firm Tombola, which already operates from several buildings off Low Street near the venue.
Proposals include temporary socket towers for around 45-48 desks, office space on the top floor and meeting space on the ground floor.
If approved, the expansion plan would allow Tombola to continue recruiting with an extra 30 jobs expected from the move.
A Design, Access and Heritage Statement, submitted with the application, provides more details on the scheme.
It reads: “Tombola have put forward a proposal to create an office space due to our continued expansion in our current buildings, situated opposite the Bonded Warehouse.
“We are passionate about employing local people to work for us in a range of roles from technology to customer facing teams.
“By introducing such changes, Tombola have set out that smarter use of the building will allow us to continue to recruit in the coming months, while our existing older buildings, Wylam Wharf and Quayside House are renovated.
“Due to Covid-19 the current occupier has had a huge downturn in business, which may have resulted in the building being empty.
“We have seen an increase in sales and staff numbers and are able to use this building without the need to make any changes to layout or structure.”
Tombola bosses say that the office changes, which include ‘boxing in’ the bar area with a temporary stud wall, will be removed in coming years when the lease is terminated and renovation works at its current buildings are completed.
As the Bonded Warehouse is Grade II listed, a separate application has also been submitted for listed building consent.
A final decision on the change of use is expected by mid-October.
Comments can be made up until Friday, September 11 by writing to the council’s planning department or commenting on its online portal.
For more information, visit www.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning reference: 20/01454/FUL