Sunderland Gas Light Company began in 1824 at the works Russell Street, Low St. The company was taken over by the Sunderland Subscription Gas Light Company in 1831. They established works at Hind St. In 1845 Sunderland Corporation Gas Company was incorporated and ran in opposition to the Sunderland Subscription Gas Light Company. Ayres Quay works was erected in 1847. In 1854 the Corporation Gas Co. absorbed the Subscription G.L.C. and was renamed the Sunderland Gas Co. in 1857. Due to an increase in demand for gas, the company expanded and purchased the Hendon site in 1860 and built a new gasworks. The works was extended in 1877 enabling them to to double their gas making capacity. The old works were shut down and entirely re-constructed, with the exception of 2 gas holders, in 1908. The works were brought into use in 1909. On 1 May 1949 the Sunderland Gas Company ceased to exist and the property, rights, obligation and liabilities were vested in the Northern Gas Board. At the time the Hendon gasworks was the main gas producing station of the Sunderland division of the NGB and included the districts of Durham, Houghton-Le-Spring, Chester-Le-Street, Consett & Stanley. On nationalisation the undertaking vested in the NGB.