The first building to rise on Sunderland’s former Vaux brewery site has reached a major landmark.
The final panes of glass have been installed in the 60,000sq ft mixed-use building which is being constructed by Carillion on behalf of site developer Siglion.
Sunderland City Council views the Vaux site as the most important development in the city and deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman joined Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott for the conclusion of the work.
The council, together with the Homes and Communities Agency, bought the site in 2011 from supermarket giant Tesco which had owned the land since 2001.
“To see the first building taking shape on the site is just a fantastic sign for the future,” he said.
“We need more quality office space in the city centre, whioch will bring in jobs.
How many office buildings are there where you can say you are in the heart of the city centre, with breath-taking river views, and you are able to see the sea?John Seager
“Those people will spend their cash to support businesses in the city centre.”
Julie Elliott was delighted to see the first building on the site beginning to take shape.
“Today is a very significant day,” he said.
“This is an absolutely iconic building that we are seeing take a big step forward.
“To see the first building nearing completion on a site as important as the Vaux site is fantastic.
“This is the beginning of the regeneration of our city centre that we have worked so hard on for so many years.”
Siglion chief executive John Seager said the firm was in early talks with possible tenants for the new building.
“We have been talking with a few parties who are potentially interested , but that is as far as it has gone so far,” he said.
“We are working very hard on that and we are very optimistic.
“How many office buildings are there where you can say you are in the heart of the city centre, with breath-taking river views, and you are able to see the sea?
“We are still very much in the first phase of what we want to achieve here - this is where it all begins.”
The building, which got underway in December, stands five storeys high, and has views over the city centre, Wearmouth Bridge and the Stadium of Light.
Designed by architects Field Clegg Bradley Studios, renowned for delivering buildings with excellent environmental credentials, the new block is heavily glazed and will shortly be fitted with bronze-coloured brise soleil shading.