Originally Posted by Baron Green Crack
The only way I see out of it is to somehow try to attract a large (high-tec/skilled) employer to the city centre which will in turn hopefully attract other businesses and subsequently more investment. A developer will not invest in offices space speculatively at this time and certainly not in Sunderland. The developer requires a long lease covenant in order to raise the finance (and remove the risk for them) to invest in office development in Sunderland. My concern is that Newcastle has the private sector sewn up in that respect and that it would be more likely that we'd need a public sector organisation to step at least in the first instance to kick start the redevelopment of the city centre.
Beyond this the only alternative for the Vaux site would be to create some sort of high quality housing development (with a degree of mixed-use) in order to somehow make Sunderland the place to live in the North East (a lot easier said than done) and almost resign itself to being a commuter city to Newcastle.
Glad to see there's someone with some common sense and positivity on here. Spot on mate.
What I would say is that Sunderland does have some advantages in the eyes of potential business occupiers over Newcastle. For one, land values are currently low, meaning that it would cost less initially for the business to run. I also think the relative freedom in terms of land availability, especially on the Vaux site, means that an occupiers requirements are more easily met.
You are right though, it does need a large catalyst company to act as an anchor for development of the Vaux site. If it goes ahead, the Combined Courts Complex on Farringdon Row could act as that, bringing in law firms and spin off small businesses. Whether that goes ahead is a different matter.
Threads like this piss me off because people constantly squabble about local democracy, when Sunderland's economic problems are far beyond the control or remit of local members. The Council is currently doing all it can in the circumstances by paving the way for private sector development of the Vaux site at some point in the future, contributing to the cost of the new bridge and funding other developments such as Software City.