The Botanist set for move to Sunderland

THE BOTANIST is coming to Sunderland.

National operator New World Trading Company has confirmed that it will be bringing its award-winning bar-and-restaurant The Botanist – famed for its botanical interiors, quirky cocktails, signature hanging kebabs, live music offering and venues adorned with tropical plants and foliage – in a unit beneath Sunderland’s new Holiday Inn which is taking shape on Keel Square.

One of four retail and leisure spaces at street-level beneath the soon-to-be-completed hotel, the move will create around 60 new jobs, as well as delivering a stylish new venue for residents and visitors to enjoy.

New World Trading Company, which has 34 venues across the UK including in York, Manchester and Chester, said the move to Sunderland was one it was sure would be a big success.

Natasha Waterfield, Chief Operating Officer at New World Trading Company, said: “Our Botanist brand is so well-loved by our guests, so it’s always exciting for us to bring our concept-venue to new cities and towns. 

“Sunderland is a transforming place, thanks to unparalleled investment in the city centre and the vision of the local authority, and we’re excited by the opportunity to bring our immersive offer to the area. We can’t wait to open later this year.”

An opening date is yet to be confirmed, but the company has applied to the council’s licencing team ahead of signing a lease on its unit, which is at the epicentre of Riverside Sunderland, the award-winning new urban quarter that is being held up nationally as the UK’s most ambitious regeneration project.

The move to Sunderland has been supported by Sunderland City Council, forming a key new addition to the leisure offer.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Investment is pouring into Sunderland at an unprecedented rate, and that’s drawing the interest of leisure operators who understand that – as the city becomes more vibrant and dynamic – they can be part of a reimagined and reinvented place.

“We are thrilled to welcome The Botanist to Sunderland. It’s a brilliant brand that we know will enliven this part of the city centre by day as it will by evening. Add new venues like The Auditorium, and those on the way like the Arena and Sheepfolds, and it’s easy to see just how different Sunderland will be in the next few years as we reap the benefits of a huge investment drive to breathe new life into the heart of our city.”

The bar is part of the new £18m 120-bed Holiday Inn Hotel at Keel Square which is close to completion.  North East based property firm Bradley Hall assisted in bringing The Botantist to Sunderland.

Neil Hart, group MD at the firm, said: “Sunderland’s transformation in recent years has been staggering, so it’s little surprise that it is attracting interest from award-winning brands like The Botanist, who can see the vast potential in the city.  We’re proud to have played a part in attracting them to Sunderland.”

The development is being brought forward by Cairn Group, and plans were first approved in 2019, with works commencing in 2020. The plans have been part-funded by Canada Life, a commitment secured by Avison Young, and will create additional accommodation that will support an increasing number of visitors to the city. The keenly awaited addition to the city centre will create 130 jobs when it opens its doors. 

The hotel is one of a number of significant developments complete or underway in Sunderland city centre. Between them, the projects will transform Riverside Sunderland, which will become home to 1,000 ultra-sustainable residential properties, business premises comprising 1m sq ft of space that will welcome up to 10,000 workers and leisure spaces and public realm for people to enjoy.

To stay up to date with developments at Riverside Sunderland, visit www.riversidesunderland.com or follow @RiversideSund on social media.