Sunderland City Council

Constructing Excellence

Sunderland City Council (SCC) have committed to one of the most ambitious urban master plans in the country, the Riverside Sunderland Development. Its aim is to deliver one million square feet of commercial development and one thousand new homes across 81 acres, with the added benefit of creating beautiful parks and public spaces. The master plan sets out to regenerate, restore and re-purpose a large tract of degraded former industrial land which has laid dormant for close to 20 years, creating the first carbon neutral urban quarter in the UK. The key principles of this strategy are design excellence, making connections, bringing life back to its river, responding to the landscape, economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing, becoming a smart city, creating opportunities for local people and most importantly building communities.


The first phase of development centres around the former Vaux Brewery site, which is one of the longest standing brownfield- sites across their estate. The Vaux site delivers much of the commercial development and the first phase of residential, providing 19 development plots located on a 5.5-acre site. Plans for the site include providing the region a state-of-the-art eye hospital in partnership with South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trust, 200,000 sq ft office accommodation in partnership with Legal and General, the first phase of residential which will be a pioneering scheme providing eco-friendly homes with generous space standards and will be built using modern methods of construction with integral smart technology, the site of Sunderland Expo, a festival which will showcase the new ways of city living–healthy, green and sustainable. Recently completed projects include an award-winning office (The Beam) and a new work location for over 1,400 of SCC staff (City Hall).This will result in approximately £0.5 billion of private and public investment being spent by 2030 on the site. In turn this will provide the region with more jobs, new spaces to live and spaces to relax with family and friends. SCC- have also invested in improving the current road links from the newly constructed Spire bridge, to reduce the vehicular impact due to the increase in numbers.


Prior to constructing the above projects, the infrastructure around the site required construction of a new dual carriageway, the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor Phase 3 (SSTC3) project with a construction cost of £42.5 million. The new 2.4km dual carriageway with associated shared use footway / cycleway and several retaining structures, provided major infrastructure and multi-phase high quality transport links that has opened the regeneration of a number of significant city centre sites identified for the Riverside Sunderland Development.


3 Key Achievements:

  • Sunderland City Council have committed to developing an extremely run-down area of the city in to a vibrant, smart space, leading the investment of £500m of public and private spending on the site.
  • Sunderland City Council continue to lead partnerships between themselves and major investors for key sites across their estate.
  • Sunderland City Council are committed to targets for Social Value and Net Zero Carbon across all of their projects.