Commercial Property Area Guide: Sunderland - England
Sunderland is a city in the North West, set on the banks of the River Wear between the cities of Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It’s one of the north’s most exciting cities and is home to a university, which sits close to the busy docks. The Stadium of Light is also a major draw for those in the region, as it’s home to Sunderland’s football club and hosts regular events, concerts and gigs.
Sunderland started out as a small fishing village in the 12th century, but, thanks to its convenient location on the North Sea coast, it quickly grew into one of the UK’s major ports. The city was a notable place for the shipbuilding trade, once named ‘the largest shipbuilding town in the world’ and held this status until the early 19th century.
Now, Sunderland has a thriving automotive industry, with car giant Nissan opening its first-ever European centre there back in the 1980s. And, with the sandy stretches of Roker Beach and Seaburn Beach close by, it’s also a popular place for many in the North West to spend a scenic weekend or staycation.
If you’re looking to base your business in Sunderland, here’s everything you need to know about working and living in the thriving port city.
Getting around in Sunderland
Sunderland is connected by plenty of major roadsThe A1(M) connects Sunderland to places south of the city, including Durham and Doncaster. It connects with the M1 just outside Leeds, which can take you all the way down to London. A good network of A roads connects you to nearby cities including Newcastle upon Tyne and Durham, reachable within 30 minutes by car.
Hop on the Tyne and Wear Metro to navigate the city with easeThe Tyne and Wear Metro, a light rail system running across Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South and North Tyneside and Sunderland, is a convenient way to get around Sunderland. It has two lines and the Green Line serves Sunderland, running from Newcastle Airport to Sunderland’s suburb South Hylton via central Sunderland, Newcastle and Gateshead.
Sunderland has one central rail stationSunderland Station, located just off Market Square in the city centre, is where you’ll be able to catch national rail services. Services run to and from London, across the north of England, and to major transport hubs like Manchester Airport. You can also catch services to border town like Carlisle, where services to major Scottish cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh run from.
Two airports are within an hour’s drive of Sunderland Teeside International Airport is around 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of Sunderland, and you can catch a number of short-haul flights from here. Newcastle International Airport is also 45 minutes’ drive from the city, and also operates flights to and from a number of European and domestic destinations.
Great places to eat in Sunderland
Find more fantastic restaurants in Sunderland here.
Sunderland’s best coffee spots
Discover new places to get your coffee fix here.
Sunderland has plenty of places to get fit
There are more than 30 gyms in Sunderland, including:
- DW Fitness First
Find the right place to work up a sweat here.
Sunderland is home to a number of banks and post offices
There are 26 banks across Sunderland, including:
- Three Barclays
- Five Lloyds
- Two TSB
- Two Co-Operative Banks
- One HSBC
- One Nationwide
- One NatWest
- One Yorkshire Bank
- One Virgin Money
- One Santander
- One Halifax
There are 26 post offices dotted across the city of Sunderland, everywhere from Grindon to Ryhope to West Boldon.
There are plenty of places to buy groceries in Sunderland
You’ll find both large superstores and small grocery shops across Sunderland, including:
- Two Asda (supermarkets)
- One Sainsbury’s (supermarket)
- One Iceland
- One Heron Foods
- One ALDI
- One Lidl
- Two H Jones & Son Grocers
If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, head to The Bridges Indoor Shopping Centre in the centre of the city. It’s home to more than 90 stores, including Boots, Primark, Next, H&M and more. It’s also got plenty of places to eat and drink inside, including Starbucks, Greggs and NUDO sushi, so it’s the ideal place to while away a few hours. The centre is also home to Jacky White’s, the city’s thriving indoor market. You’ll find an eclectic selection of local goods here, with even more stalls joining the regular traders around Christmas time.
Commercial real estate agents operating in Sunderland
Knight Frank LLP
Naylors Gavin Black
Cushman & Wakefield
Sanderson Weatherall LLP
Realla has lots of commercial properties to rent – here’s a selection
Serviced offices in Sunderland
Notable businesses based in Sunderland
Interesting facts about Sunderland
Sunderland’s residents are often known as ‘Mackem’ and it’s also the name given to the city’s distinctive accent (not to be confused with the similar but distinct Geordie accent of nearby Newcastle).
The National Glass Centre, which opened in 1998, pays tribute to Sunderland’s strong history of glassmaking, which is said to have taken place for more than 1,500 years in the city.
First President of the United States, George Washington, has links to the city of Sunderland - many generations of his family lived at Washington Hall in the city’s suburbs. Sunderland and Washington D.C. signed a ‘friendship agreement’ in 2006 marking their surprising connection.
Sunderland was the seventh most bombed city in the UK, due to its status as one of the UK’s busiest ports.
Author Lewis Carroll is said to have been inspired by Sunderland and it’s claimed that he penned ‘Jabbawocky’ during a family game at his sisters’ house in Southwick.