On 27 November, the project partners hosted a ground-breaking ceremony mark the start of works. Kier, the main contractor for both the design and build, is working closely with Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) to deliver the facility. The Trust says its existing eye infirmary is already ‘a leading provider of eye care services in the UK’, and the new, contemporary healthcare facility will help meet the growing demands of an ageing population.
Providing ‘state-of-the-art’ clinical accommodation, it will form a key part of the Sunderland Riverside regeneration scheme. The ground and first floors will house an emergency department, and services including medical retina, diagnostic imaging, and outpatients, with additional clinical services on levels 2 and 3, and a new energy centre built at the west of the site.
Kier has worked to design an inclusive facility, with all floors easily accessible from the main entrance and reception areas, and street level access on both sides of the building. It has already completed a programme of enabling and preparatory works, with work on the new hospital expected to complete in spring 2026.
Dan Doherty, Regional director for Kier Construction North & Scotland, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Sunderland City Council and STFT to deliver such a significant building for the city and the wider region. This project will bring many benefits to the North East, including new local employment, apprenticeships, and work placements, through our comprehensive and accomplished social value programme.”