Aerial shot of Hillthorn Park.
Jane Imrie

Proposed £60m Sunderland business park set to create 1,600 new jobs

Plans have been put forward for a multi-million pound business park in Sunderland that is set to create 1,600 jobs.

Legal & General has submitted plans for the first two phases of the £60m Hillthorn Park development to Sunderland City Council.

The scheme will deliver around 600,000 sq ft of floor space for industrial, storage and distribution businesses.

Work on the 25-hectare site in Washington is set to commence in September 2021, with the expectation that Hillthorn Park will be fully built out by 2023.

Paul Edwards, director of asset management at LGIM Real Assets, commented: “We are pleased to be able to submit a planning application for Hillthorn Park, which is a significant site that will unlock a range of employment opportunities for local people, as businesses are attracted to locate there.

“Hillthorn Park is one of two significant job-creating commercial developments we are backing in Sunderland, a city that has impressed us with its vision and intent.

“We’ve invested some £160m in all, because we absolutely back the Council’s plans to bolster its economy, by creating commercial spaces that will attract businesses, and with them support the creation of new jobs for local people.”

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “This is an important site for the city with vast potential to attract job-creating businesses.

“We’re very pleased that Legal & General is helping us to realise our vision and – through a £60m investment – is supporting us to rapidly advance our plans to unlock the potential of this site for local people”.

An Enterprise Zone, the site has secured funding from central government, the North East LEP and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – for new infrastructure and enabling works.

Helen Golightly, chief executive of the North East LEP, commented: “It’s fantastic to see the pace with which Legal & General are advancing their plans for Hillthorn Park.

“We look forward to seeing the site rapidly transformed into a key business hub, creating hundreds of jobs for people across the North East.”

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