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Chloe Shakesby

Historic Sunderland schoolhouse to become offices after £930k investment

An historic North East schoolhouse is set to become a mixed-use development following a £930k investment.

Building Design Northern (BDN), has secured the loan to complete the conversion of the former Simpson Street School in Sunderland into self-contained office premises and eight apartments.

The funding comes from FW Capital, which manages the North East Property Fund.

The deal came about after BDN bought the site from Sunderland City Council. Planning permission was granted last August and construction work began shortly after.

Rick Marsden, BDN’s director, commented: “It is wonderful to bring such a beautiful old building back into use and to restore it for the benefit of future generations while helping to boost the local economy.

“FW Capital were a pleasure to deal with. They shared our vision for the project and made securing the funding we needed a straightforward and efficient process throughout.”

Tony Cullen, investment executive at FW Capital, said: “This is a project that will attract business and investment to Sunderland, while saving a Grade-II listed building from ruin.

“BDN Ltd will create high-quality loft-style apartments and an office space that will bring new homes and jobs to Sunderland. We are delighted to have been able to help.”

Andrew Moffat, chair of the investment board at the North East LEP, added: “Restorations and conversions are a great way to use the North East Property Fund and this former school will now have new life breathed into it thanks to BDN Ltd. We hope other small-scale property developers will be encouraged to apply too.”

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