A new home for Sunderland City Council will be a major catalyst for redevelopment of the former Vaux brewery site, says the man charged with making it a reality.
The second building on VAUX, which has been described as a City Hall that will house a range of public sector organisations including the council, has been granted planning consent and construction work will start this year.
The new building, which spans 190,000 sq ft – more than twice the size of VAUX’s first building, THE BEAM - and comprises two main footprints, connected by a glass atrium, has been designed by award-winning North East architect practice, FaulknerBrowns.
Developer Siglion, which submitted the planning application, said it was delighted to get the green light for work to begin on phase two of the VAUX site.
Chief executive John Seager said: "This is another huge step forward for VAUX, myself and the team at Siglion are delighted that work can soon get started on this stunning new space.
"I’m really proud that, before the first building has even opened, we are already in a position to advance with the second development on VAUX. This was exactly what Siglion was set up to deliver - spades in the ground, foundations in place and buildings emerging that are transforming the landscape for future generations."
"Investment breeds investment. The decision by the council to move ahead with its plans for City Hall shows its ambition for Sunderland – and it will make the ears of investors prick up.
"It’s a positive step for the future of the city and its city centre.”
City council leader Coun Graeme Miller said: "City Hall feeds, not only into our city centre vision, which is about creating a prosperous heartland for Sunderland, but it is an important part of our wider city plan, which will deliver a vibrant, dynamic and healthy city that everyone here can be proud to call home.
"Integral to that is a civic building that supports the council in our aim to deliver improved wrap-around and seamless services to residents and modernise the way we work, so this building – which will house a number of providers of support – is critical to that mission.
"As a catalyst for change in Sunderland, City Hall is unique and we’re delighted to see it moving forward."