City chiefs confirm contractor appointed to lead construction of 'ultra-modern' homes on former Vaux Brewery site

Work is set to start later this year on the latest stage of the redevelopment of the former Vaux Brewery site.

Sunderland City Council has confirmed it has appointed Gateshead-based firm Tolent to lead construction of a raft of new homes on the former landmark.

The deal is set to see 135 “ultra-modern” houses built as part of the ‘Vaux neighbourhood’ at the Riverside Sunderland development – the first of an expected 1,000 homes which are slated to double the number of people living in the city centre.

And it is hoped that, should everything go to plan, the properties will be ready for the first families to start moving in by the end of 2023.

Wearside Edge, Sunderland

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Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of the local authority, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have taken this final step to get work started on our flagship residential scheme at Riverside Sunderland. The housing developments on Riverside Sunderland will be world-class, and Tolent is an ideal partner to deliver them, based locally and capable of building these aspirational homes.

“We’re innovating with this scheme, using modern methods of construction, renewable energy and smart technology that align to our low carbon and smart city ambitions, and that will also allow the next generation to learn how to build the homes of the future.”

Construction on the Vaux neighbourhood, one of four “distinct communities” planned for the wider site, is expected to start within weeks.

The overall scheme is eventually expected to create city centre housing for up to 2,500 people.

The property designs are based on winners of the Royal Institute of British Architects Homes of 2030 contest and will form part of the 2024 ‘Expo Sunderland’ event showcasing the “aspirational lifestyle offer that Sunderland will provide”.

Paul Webster, chief executive officer of Tolent, said: “Vaux neighbourhood is an amazing project that showcases the strides being taken in Sunderland to modernise the city centre.

"The world-class houses being built will provide a community fit for the future and an archetype for sustainable housing.”