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Carillion collapse halts work in Sunderland

An artist's impression of the development at the Vaux site Credit: Siglion

Work has halted on a high-profile regeneration scheme in the North East following the collapse of Carillion.

Sunderland City Council has announced operations at the old Vaux Brewery site in the town has stopped.

"The Council has been notified by Carillion’s liquidator that building work on Vaux Phase One has ceased with immediate effect.

"The Council is in discussions with Carillion and liquidators PricewaterhouseCoopers regarding next steps and to ensure that work is resumed and the Phase One."

– Sunderland City Council

The site was derelict following the demolition of the Vaux Brewery in 1999 and was bough by Tesco in 2001.

The supermarket giant though failed to secure consent for its plans for the site, which included a large supermarket and car park and eventually sold the land to Sunderland City Council in 2011.

This current scheme was granted planning permission in June 2016, with construction work beginning that same year

Central to the plans for the £20m construction of phase one is a 60,000sq ft office building at the heart of the 5.5-hectare site. The Vaux site will also be used as a venue for events and activities attracting people into the city as work continues.

This scheme was managed by by Siglion, a joint venture by Sunderland City Council and Carillion, the latter having made its investment in full. It employed Carillion's construction arm to carry out work on the site.

Siglion's chief executive John Seager explained that this is "standard practice" in these situaions, something which was echoed by Sunderland MP Julie Elliott.

The site has been locked down by liquidators, which is standard practice in these circumstances. However, we are working closely with Carillion and PWC and we hope that this will be resolved quickly and that we can ensure that no momentum is lost and the Vaux site is delivered as expected.

Carillion has already made its equity investment in full into Siglion, so for all intents and purposes, it will be business as usual. Tenants in our sites across the city will see no changes, and we will be writing to them to that effect.

– ohn Seager, chief executive of Siglion

The site is secure and this is normal practice in a liquidation. I am sure it will be back up and running soon.

My worry is much wider than that, it is the jobs in the region.

– Julie Elliott, Sunderland Central MP