Sunderland Software Centre - the Jewel in the City's Crown; SUNDERLAND SOFTWARE CENTRE

Article excerpt

SUNDERLAND is driving forward a bright economic future for its software sector by investing in world-class resources and cutting-edge custom-built premises.

The city's jewel in the crown is its purpose-built premises for software companies, the Sunderland Software Centre, a superb PS10m flagship building right in the city centre.

The centre is poised to open its doors in the new year and will be an important new hub for creative and digital companies to work, collaborate and grow.

The striking building offers 62 high-specification offices ranging from 130 to 2,000sq ft, with a stunning public area for businesses to showcase their work to clients, a conference room, cinema room and range of meeting rooms and communal areas. Its clever design encourages occupiers to network, share ideas and test products.

WORLD-LEADING Sunderland Software Centre integrates technology in every aspect of its design to suit the demanding requirements of digital businesses, and connect its tenants to cities, universities and venture capital networks worldwide through a national virtual incubator powered by technology giant Cisco. Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "The outstanding resources, location and design of the Sunderland Software Centre will hopefully attract national and regional companies, bringing jobs and investment to Sunderland. This is an investment to benefit the city for the long term and will be a superb resource for our fast-growing digital and creative companies. It strengthens the city's world-class ambitions in this successful sector."

FLEXIBLE SPACE The smart use of space throughout the three-storey building offers ideal offices for all sizes of enterprises, from freelancers and entrepreneurs in the smaller areas on the first floor to the larger, flagship businesses located on the second floor. The top floor also houses meeting rooms, some with one-way glass for focus groups, and a balcony overlooking Mowbray Park.

Sunderland Software Centre is funded by Sunderland City Council, One North East and the European Regional Development Fund.

The 100-plus software companies based in Sunderland are responsible for an annual turnover of PS65m and the creation of more than 1,000 jobs. Investment in the software sector and the resulting boost to the city's economy is a key part of Sunderland City Council's Economic Masterplan.

SUPPORT ON SITE Sunderland Software Centre will be home to Sunderland Software City, which works alongside the city council and the University of Sunderland to support the growth of the software industry. David Dunn, chief executive officer of Sunderland Software City, said: "The new centre will form a hub where creative, software and technical businesses can easily collaborate to generate innovative new technology. …