New Vaux tenant announcement expected 'very soon' as Sunderland City Council leader promises 'multiple cranes on the city’s skyline'

Online grocer Ocado could have its new neighbours in Sunderland confirmed ‘very soon’, city leaders have said.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Friday, 23rd August 2019, 12:14 pm
The Vaux site

The firm, which calls itself the ‘world’s largest’ online food shop, was unveiled as the first tenant at the flagship Beam building on the site of the former Vaux brewery in July.

The company is due to take the top two floors of the office block in a 15-year deal also expected to create 300 jobs on Wearside.

And now bosses at Sunderland City Council have hinted they could be close to announcing who will be sharing the rest of the five-floor workspace.

“We’ve had the news of Ocado going to the Beam, but I’m very hopeful we will have another tenant going to the Beam very soon,” said city council leader Graeme Miller.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Which would be good news because that would pretty much fill the building with private sector tenants.”

Another neighbour already confirmed for Ocado on the Vaux site is the council itself, which Coun Miller said is due to start construction of a new ‘city hall’ in ‘about September’ to replace the ailing civic centre.

The council announced plans in 2018 to replace their current HQ, off Burdon Road, with a smaller, more cost-effective base. Planning permission was granted earlier in 2019.

The move involves 1,200 council staff relocating and sharing space with public sector partners at the new site.

The hub’s ground floor is set to host customer service points, a cafe and a ‘debating chamber’ while other floors will provide office space.

The designs aim to take inspiration from historic buildings in the nearby Bishopwearmouth Conservation Area.

Just across St Mary’s Way from the ex-brewery, in Keel Square, work is also expected to begin soon on a £16million project to build a 120-room hotel, as well as a £7 million auditorium for the nearby Fire Station Arts Centre.

Coun Miller added: “By the time we get to October we should have multiple cranes on the city’s skyline, building the start of the new 21st Century city centre.”