Contractor for Sunderland’s new £31million Wear footbridge is named

VolkerStevin has been named as the partner that will deliver Sunderland’s brand new ‘smart bridge’ – a pedestrian and cyclist crossing that will connect both sides of the Wear at Riverside Sunderland.

Sunderland’s new footbridge across the River Wear has taken a major step forward as VolkerStevin has been named as the partner that will carry out the £31million project.

VolkerStevin, a subsidiary of VolkerWessels UK, specialises in major infrastructure projects and as part of the contract, the company has committed to £2.6million worth of social value commitments delivering a huge boost to people and businesses in the city.

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This includes a community fund to support projects that improve the cultural, heritage, educational, environmental, energy and health opportunities of local residents – as well as employing at least 15 local people to work on the project.

An artistic impression of a new bridge linking Sunderland city centre and Sunderland Football Club's Stadium of Light ground to the north of the River Wear.

The leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller, has expressed his delight in seeing the new bridge take a significant step forward.

He said: “We’re delighted to have appointed our delivery partner, VolkerStevin to move forward with this hugely significant infrastructure project that will further connect our city.

"And what’s more, to have secured a firm that will inject a huge sum into the local economy, as well as adding social value through a range of initiatives, means we’re making every pound we spend count, and the benefit of this project will be felt even during the construction phase of the project.

"VolkerStevin will also play a significant role in the forthcoming Sunderland Business Festival, which will take place between October 4 and 8.

“We’re hugely ambitious for Sunderland, and this is the latest in a long line of transformational projects that we’re advancing with at pace at Riverside Sunderland.

"Our city centre is transforming with well over £350m worth of development projects progressing, and we’re delighted to see this important project take a significant step forward.”

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It will connect the former Vaux Brewery site to the Sheepfolds Industrial Estate and in doing so, provide improved links to the Stadium of Light, the two University of Sunderland campuses and residential communities to the north of the river.

The work to create the bridge will start in summer 2022 and is expected to open in summer 2024, featuring creative lighting and augmented reality which will allow people to use their smartphone to see virtual displays.

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Jonathan Suckling, managing director at VolkerStevin, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract from Sunderland City Council, and are looking forward to working collaboratively with all parties during the ECI period to ensure that Wear Bridge is delivered with certainty.

“We have assembled a great team of designers and supply chain who will help us deliver this significant project and further build on our legacy of delivering major infrastructure schemes, in the North East – which include other iconic bridges such as Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge and Northumbria University’s Intersite Bridge.”

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

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