Work begins at Sunderland software centre
Work has begun on a £10m development in Sunderland designed to accommodate software businesses.
Sunderland Software Centre at Tavistock Place is due to open next year and aims to bring 140 jobs to the city.
Plans include offices for 60 software businesses and exhibition space.
Sunderland Council said more than 350 software companies were operating across the North East. It said the industry was estimated to be worth more than £250m a year to the region.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "This is a tremendously exciting project that underpins the work being done to establish Sunderland and the region as a centre of software excellence.
"The jobs and businesses coming to the centre will also be a boost to this part of the city and its ongoing regeneration. I'm looking forward to seeing how this building takes shape and to seeing businesses move in."
The new building is being part-financed with a £4.75m grant from the European Regional Development Fund, secured through regional development agency One North East, which is also contributing £2.95m to the project.
Sunderland City Council is contributing £2.6m towards the project.