Chloe Shakesby

Construction gets underway on £1m Sunderland refurbishment following sale of historic school building

Work is starting today on refurbishment of a North East building that is set to pump nearly £1m into the local economy.

The modernisation of Simpson Street school into new apartment buildings is creating 10 construction jobs and bringing 16 professional roles to the area.

The project, in Sunderland, is being led by North East architectural and structural engineering business BDN and is set to deliver a “major” economic boost for the city.

The sale of the building and its surrounding grounds completed last night (21 September), in a deal between Sunderland City Council and BDN.

Plans for the conversion were approved in August, after fears that the building might have been lost following a blaze earlier this year.

Richard Marsden, manager of BDN, commented: “It’s fantastic to be able to return this stunning building to its former glory, but it is an added advantage that – in doing so – we can create opportunities for local people and businesses.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Building community wealth is at the heart of our mission as a council – and we do that by attracting investment that creates jobs and opportunities for local people and businesses.

“Simpson Street is a tremendous example of a project that is repaying the city over and over – attracting a business to relocate here, invest in a building and create new jobs and also build stunning new homes for people living here.

“We’re delighted to see this moving forward.”

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