The former Gilbridge Police Station in Sunderland.
Jane Imrie

Former police HQ to become business hub with £3m investment

A former police station in Sunderland is set to undergo a transformation into a business hub after being acquired by a regional developer.

The Hanro Group has agreed outline terms with Sunderland City Council to acquire Gilbridge Police Station near Keel Square and the Riverside Sunderland development.

Since closing its doors in 2015, the 3,000 sq m building has been earmarked for development and is now set to be transformed into office space.

Newcastle-based Hanro, which plans to invest £3m into the site, will create open-plan offices ranging from 45 to 200 sq m designed to cater to SMEs.

Laura Lloyd at Hanro Group commented: “We have exciting plans that will see it reimagined, both internally and externally, and that will attract more businesses to the city centre, and enable growth of those already present.

The demand is there, with The Beam almost full just months after opening its doors. And this building’s conversion will ensure there is yet-more high-quality office accommodation to attract companies into Sunderland – something that will give a boost to traders in the city centre who will benefit from a captive audience on their doorstep.“

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “Hanro has a proven track record as an investor, having quietly gone about its business in the city and delivered excellent developments for many years. We are looking forward to seeing the company quickly breathe new life into this building.

“Hanro is absolutely ready to go with its plans; the team want to get this development moving, which is critical to us – we need regeneration to happen with pace and endeavour in Sunderland and backing the sale of this building to a company primed to deliver will enable that.

“It’s an exciting period and we’re determined to continue to ensure Sunderland is the most investable-city – a place with ambition and vision that investors can be part of.”

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