The Vacant Property Visual Improvement scheme will transform the shop in a two week project, enforcing students from Sunderland College’s painting and decorating course to lend a hand.
“This is a great opportunity to improve the look of some of the city centre premises as part of a partnership from which everyone benefits,” said Ken Dunbar, chief executive of Sunderland BID.
“The college students get real experience of working in a commercial environment and we are able to help improve the look of an empty building to make it more commercially viable and hopefully benefit the whole area.”
Gentoo is supporting the venture, providing resources and access to an experienced supervisor to work alongside the students.
Ian Porter, executive director of asset & investment, Gentoo, added: “We are delighted to be part of a partnership that will bring benefits to our city centre.
“Gentoo is committed to providing new learning opportunities for people and this is a great way for our experienced staff to pass on knowledge and share skills.”
If the pilot project is successful, other vacant properties across the city will be considered for a ‘facelift’.