The huge red-brick building at the Market Dock is up for sale or rent, with estate agents prepared to listen to “sensible” offers without setting a fixed price.
Joint agents King Surge and Sanderson Weatherall said they were looking for a buyer who can create jobs at the 47,000 sq ft complex, which has stood empty since the business shut last May.
A total of 178 workers found themselves dumped on the dole queue when the chief executive broke the shock news over the in-house radio system last May.
They later took their former bosses to a tribunal and were awarded almost £3,000 each.
Council bosses today said they hoped to see scores of workers come back to the borough.
Coun Michael Clare, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for jobs, enterprise and regeneration, said: “It has been frustrating to see this private building lying empty but it is encouraging to see that it is now being marketed for sale.
“We hope to see it back in use and fulfilling its job creation potential sooner rather than later.”
David Jackson, joint partner of Sanderson Weatherall said interest has already been received in the building, which went up three years ago at a cost of £3m.
He said: “The priority is to find an occupier and this is an opportunity to bring jobs to South Shields. We will listen to offers, as long as they are sensible ones.”
The building is fitted to be used as a call centre. It has planning permission for office use and could potentially be adapted to meet the needs of different types of business.
Mr Jackson added: “In the current property market we have to be open to all sorts of different uses. However, we have to be sensitive to the area that the building is in.
“What has surprised me is the level of interest we have had in this already.
“Nobody likes to see a building like this standing empty, and it will be good to get it up and running and bring jobs and investment to South Tyneside.”
Mr Jackson was unable to say who was selling the property for data protection reasons. However, the vendor is believed to be Chey Garland, chief executive of the former Garlands call centres.
Building work on the complex began in the summer of 2007, despite objections from residents in the area, who expressed concerns about vehicular access and parking, as well as the size and appearance of the building.<< Archive
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