Development of Sunderland's Vaux site finally starts

Work starts today on a landmark site in Sunderland city centre, which has remained derelict since the demolition of the Vaux Brewery in 1999.

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.

Vaux is the first of five areas of the city to be developed in a 20-year regeneration scheme managed by Siglion, the development company working in partnership with Sunderland City Council.

The high-profile site will include office, retail, residential and leisure facilities.

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

"It's a huge step forward for the city today, and we're delighted that Siglion has successfully got work started on the Vaux site.. This will have a transformative effect on the city centre, both during the building phase, and afterwards as we add to the infrastructure. This really is an iconic site for Sunderland, and will attract people, jobs and money into the city centre for years to come." The flagship development will also include a hotel, food, leisure, residential and parking elements in later phases of the work. It will also extend the amount of high quality office space with the aim of creating a commercial community at the heart of the city.

John Seager, chief executive, Siglion

"This is a momentous day for Sunderland as work begins on this major redevelopment, on a prime site which has stood idle for far too long. A huge amount of work has gone into the plans and designs which will now start to see fruition; plans where local people and businesses have been able to give their feedback throughout the scheme to ensure we're delivering what Sunderland wants and needs."

Cllr Paul Watson, leader, Sunderland City Council

The site, located to the north of St. Mary's Boulevard and bounded by the River Wear to the north, was bought by Tesco in 2001 after the brewery closed in 1999.

Tesco 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.

The current scheme was granted planning permission in June this year.