Start Site For 15Million Bridges Expansion

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Construction is underway on a £15million expansion to the Bridges in Sunderland city centre.

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson, key figures from Land Securities and representatives from appointed contractor Morgan Sindall have visited the site to officiate over the start of the major project.

Hoardings have been errected and work is fully underway to deliver the three-story expansion which will bring Primark to the centre for the first time.

The start of the work on site has generated about 150 jobs and Land Securities is fully behind and actively encouraging the use of local resources during the construction phase of this project.

Gerald Jennings, portfolio director at Land Securities, said:  "It's exciting times at the Bridges.

"The start of construction work signifies that the transformation has begun. In no time at all we're going to be the proud owners of an even bigger and greater shopping centre which I know all our shoppers will enjoy and appreciate.

"We've said all along that we'll work closely with Sunderland City Council to create a viable extension strategy and that we're committed to making it happen. Today clearly demonstrates we're delivering on our promise - despite tough times - Land Securities is investing, expanding and developing in the heart of Sunderland."

Sunderland City Council Leader, Councillor Paul Watson adds: "The further expansion of The Bridges Shopping Centre by Land Securities is a vote of confidence in Sunderland city centre, as well as being great news for shoppers.

To see a development of this size taking place in the middle of a worldwide economic downturn is quite phenomenal. Coming as it does just a week after the city's independent shops were judged sixth best in Britain; it is further evidence that Sunderland is very much open for business."

As part of the expansion plans Land Securities will deliver a three storey circa 60,000 sq ft anchor store for Primark which will be double the size of its current location ensuring that the retailer has the space it needs to continue trading successfully in Sunderland.

The expansion will also create a vibrant new entrance to improve the visual outlook and environment of High Street West. Completion is anticipated in July 2012.


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