Exclusive insight into the businesses, people and places driving Sunderland forward… 

Here are 9 business stories happening in Sunderland you need to know about this November.  


9 Business Stories Happening in Sunderland You Need To Know About


Sunderland shortlisted as a finalist on Global Stage for World Smart City Award



Sunderland City Council represented not only the North East region but the country as the only shortlisted UK finalist at the World Smart City Awards 2021 at the Smart City Expo World Congress in November.

Standing alongside fellow experts and changemakers, Sunderland was a leading part of the global vanguard for change across the network of smart cities, from Sunderland UK to Sydney, Australia.

The evolution of Sunderland’s Smart City Programme was recognised in this award category, having catalysed Sunderland’s status as one of the UK’s leading smart cities. 

Citing Sunderland as a city on track to position its residents and businesses as leaders, digitally equipped to succeed, driving economic and social transformation.

Gaining recognition over recent months as a city known for its digital leadership and collaborative initiatives, Sunderland continues to showcase its talents on the world stage.



Inaugural City of Sunderland Business Festival a roaring success


Sunderland launched its first-ever business festival in October in what was a celebration of dynamic companies based across the city and a festival that showcased a range of opportunities for local people. 

Taking place at numerous venues such as the Stadium of Light and the Bridges, the week-long celebration combined in-person events with virtual sessions, roundtables and talk-ins to bring to life Sunderland’s vibrant business scene. 

It also connected local people to job opportunities, inspired business people with thought-provoking speeches and sessions from world-class speakers, and showcased the industries that are driving the economic regeneration of our city. 



Just Eat to create 1,500 jobs at a new base in Sunderland



Game-changing news for Sunderland’s business scene! 

Global online food takeaway company, Just East, has confirmed that they will create a brand new facility in Sunderland, bringing with it over 1,500 customer service jobs. 

Part of a £100m investment that’s heading to the North East, Just Eat recently set up shop in Houghton with 300 new staff members and immediately noted that customer satisfaction had risen as a result. 

We’ll put it down to our iconic Mackem charm… 



350 ECO jobs at Doxford International Business Park

ECO (EC Outsourcing) is set to create 350 new contact centre jobs at Doxford International Business Park. 

Opening a new base at Solar House as part of a wider recruitment drive, the move will see the contact centre business expand from a team of 450 to as many as 1,200 people. 

Established in 2013, ECO supports clients in a range of sectors – in particular the energy sector – delivering both sales and service support and boasts notable clients such as ESB Energy, Buzz Bingo and You Garden.



Fulwell 73 open regional office at University of Sunderland



There’s opportunity on the horizon for Sunderland creatives, as independent production company Fulwell 73 have recently launched a new regional office at the University of Sunderland. 

Located on Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, Fulwell North is the new base for the company’s creative activities in the North.

It focuses on developing new programming, nurturing local talent and discovering new creators from diverse backgrounds on and off-screen. 

The award-winning company is internationally renowned for projects like All or Nothing Juventus, One Direction music videos and, of course, Sunderland ‘Til I Die. 

Fulwell 73’s new location aims to help address the skills gap for those starting out in the industry and to attract talent to the region.

Their new HQ will also leverage the company’s heritage in the North East and enhance their reputation for creating award-winning film, TV and digital content in entertainment, sport, comedy, scripted and non-scripted sectors. 



Sunderland GP Alliance expand offering at the North East Business and Innovation Centre


Sunderland GP Alliance has expanded its base at the North East Business and Innovation Centre for the fourth time in six years – now adding a second office to accommodate their rapidly growing team of 220 clinical and office workers. 

An organisation that supports GPs in Sunderland, the not-for-profit business is owned by the GP practices in Sunderland and exists to help GPs work collectively for the benefit of patients and staff. 

By pooling resources and expertise via the alliance, they can offer services to patients that could not be delivered by individual GP surgeries. 



Sunderland BID strengthen Street Ranger team



Sunderland BID’s street ranger team has added another team member to their ranks following the appointment of Andrew Brown. 

A Sunderland resident originally from Scotland, Andrew joins Lee Taylor to create a dynamic ranger team to help keep our city looking spick and span. 

The Street Rangers are vital to the city centre; from cleaning up litter, removing graffiti and just generally being good folk who help visitors find their way across the city, these friendly faces are the eyes and ears of SR1. 

Next time you’re out and see the boys, be sure to give them a smile and a wave!



Plans for Quantafuel plant in Sunderland

Port of Sunderland has been chosen as the preferred location for Quantafuel’s first UK operation. 

A leading brand that specialises in transforming plastic waste into sustainable products, Quantafuel has chosen a prime 12-acre (approximately 50,000 m2) site on Port of Sunderland’s eastern edge due to its close proximity to shipping berths, transport links, and presence of a local skilled workforce. 

The plant will be designed to process more than 100,000 tonnes of plastic per year, will create hundreds of jobs during construction and will provide sustainable business links for local suppliers.



Sunderland partner up with BAI Communications to create the UK’s most advanced smart city



Sunderland is set to have next-generation 5G mobile infrastructure, putting it on track to become one of the UK’s most advanced smart cities, it has recently been announced. 

Sunderland City Council has awarded a 20-year strategic partnership to BAI Communications to design, build and operate next-generation digital infrastructure including a private 5G small cell network. 

The project is the next step on Sunderland City Council’s journey to achieve its global smart city ambition, having been awarded the UK Smart City of the Year 2020 accolade and Connected Britain Digital Council of the Year 2021.

The first phase of the partnership will see a backbone of 5G connectivity, based on a neutral host model, established within the city by Summer 2022. 

The new high speed 5G coverage will provide a platform for business growth and innovation, supporting the Government’s levelling up agenda by bringing substantial social and economic benefits to its residents, businesses and visitors, including the creation of over 100 jobs.

Through the partnership, supported by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and HM Government’s Getting Building Fund, Sunderland will be able to scale its advanced smart city plan, allowing the city to be at the forefront of innovation and achieve true global competitiveness. 

Greater high speed 5G mobile connectivity, which offers much faster response times across the network, will be complemented by other networking technologies to enable Sunderland to deliver transformative digital services for communities and sectors across the City.



Which Sunderland business story are you most excited about? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe.

Facebook Comments