Work to begin on £9.1million depot and workshop complex in summer 2021, helping to make Sunderland cleaner and greener

Work is set to begin on a £9.1million new workshop and depot HQ for frontline services in Sunderland in the coming months.

Friday, 12th February 2021, 3:27 pm
Updated Friday, 12th February 2021, 3:33 pm
The existing Parson's Depot in Washington

The existing workshop will be demolished and replaced with a new council depot building which will house workshop spaces and office accommodation.

A security gatehouse will service the site entrance, which leads to fleet, staff, and visitor parking facilities, a fuel station, and a large barn which can store up to 7,500 tonnes of gritting salt.

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The depot will include a solar PV and battery storage system, which is being match-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said the project is part of efforts to make Sunderland carbon neutral within two decades.

“Our City Plan is about delivering a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant Sunderland, and it includes a commitment to making the city carbon neutral by 2040,” he said.

"As the council invests in new and lower-carbon technology, including its vehicle fleet, we are looking to the new facilities and structures that are needed to support frontline services and their important work.

“The redevelopment of Parsons is helping to ensure we continue to deliver and have the capacity for further frontline service investments. We look forward to this partnership and redevelopment work at Parsons with Esh.”

Cllr Miller said the development will provide a new strategic asset for the council and will house frontline services for fleet management, highways operations, refuse collection, horticultural services and seasonal road gritting.

Construction is set to begin in early summer 2021 and by contractors Esh Construction in partnership with Howarth Litchfield Architects, Portland Consulting Engineers and Desco.

Chris Hale, Estimating Director at Esh Construction, said: “We are delighted to be delivering this development on behalf of Sunderland City Council who is one of our valued and long-standing clients within the region.

"This is a key win for Esh and further strengthens our commercial build portfolio with over £72 million of projects underway or due to commence.”

The scheme was procured via the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO).

Laura Kyle, category specialist at NEPO, said: “NEPO207 Building Construction Works provides North East public sector organisations with a compliant route to procure design and build projects.

"Sunderland City Council’s appointment of Esh will achieve positive outcomes beyond the construction site, through local jobs and community initiatives that deliver real social value.”

To find out more about Esh Construction, visit

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