Cllr Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, alongside the team at Clixifix
Cllr Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, alongside the team at Clixifix.

Sunderland incubators prove successful launchpad for city businesses with job creation

Sunderland City Council has revealed how three of their business incubators have continued to grow and invest in the city despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Comprising Evolve at Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland Software Centre at Tavistock Place and Washington Business Centre on Turbine Way, the centres were established to increase Sunderland’s competitiveness in attracting high-quality jobs and businesses to the city.

A council report revealed that 13 businesses at the three hubs continued to expand last year creating 36 jobs during the year ending 31 October despite being severely impacted operationally by the pandemic.

One such business is Clixifix®. The Evolve-based company is a cost-effective defect and repair resolution software application which opened its Houghton office in 2018 and has since grown from two to 22 employees.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It’s pleasing to see that businesses at each of our three managed business centres have continued to create jobs over the past year.

“Coatsink, a games development company, relocated to Sunderland Software Centre from its base on Teesside with just a handful of employees in 2013.

“Fast-forward seven years and the company which has retained a foothold in the Software Centre was acquired for a whopping £65m by a Swedish gaming giant last October, having created scores of high skilled jobs and flying the flag for the region’s tech sector.”

Cllr Miller added: “Powerroll has been another fantastic success story. The manufacturer has raised over £8m for the development out of its innovative solar panel film since setting up at Washington Business Centre and is now constructing its own pilot solar film production plant.

“While the nature of incubator hubs mean that businesses grow and move on – often to large standalone spaces across the city or wider region - we are delighted that our centres continue to create jobs for local people.”

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