Skip to content

Business & Economy

North East construction firm lands Vaux housing deal

One of the North East’s most ambitious residential developments has taken a major step forward, with local firm Tolent named as the preferred construction partner.

Sunderland City Council has announced that North East based Tolent is set to take on the construction of 132 homes that will form the new Vaux neighbourhood at Riverside Sunderland, the first of 1,000 homes planned for the area as part of ambitious plans to double the number of people living in the city centre.

The project will see Tolent construct the stunning ultra-sustainable houses using modern methods of construction, renewable energy and smart technology which reduce the carbon footprint of the development, producing high quality, low carbon properties in the heart of the city.

The four new communities at Riverside Sunderland will create city centre housing for up to 2,500 residents and provide a future living offer that will attract new and existing residents to live in the vibrant city centre.  The homes will sit alongside the orchards and allotments of Kingsley Gardens and nearby Riverside Park, which is continuing on its journey towards an accessible, attractive and ecologically diverse parkland.

It is expected that work will get started on the initial enabling works within weeks, representing the next stage of the high quality development on the fast-changing Riverside Sunderland site.

The Vaux neighbourhood will be the site of the 2023 Sunderland Future Living Expo which will showcase the new homes and the aspirational lifestyle offer that Sunderland can provide.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have selected Tolent as our preferred partner to take forward our flagship residential scheme at Riverside Sunderland.  The housing developments on Riverside Sunderland will be world-class, and Tolent are a fantastic partner, based locally and capable of building the stunning properties we are aspiring to develop on this site.

“We’re innovating with this scheme, using modern methods of construction, renewable energy and smart technology that align to our low carbon and smart city ambitions, and that will also allow our future generations to learn how to build the homes of the future.  We’re proud to work with Tolent – a firm that will deliver significant social value – to ensure that these new homes deliver the maximum local advantage possible.”

The contract with Tolent will be confirmed late November and, as part of the programme, they will deliver over £17m of social value activity including supporting local jobs for a range of people including apprenticeships and placements, a commitment to spend in the local area through the growth of regional supply chains and a variety of schemes to engage with local community groups.

Andy McLeod, chief executive of Tolent, said: “We are thrilled to have been named preferred construction partner on what will be a transformative project for the City of Sunderland. The scheme represents a unique opportunity to redefine the way we construct homes in the region and will allow us to deliver new skills to local people and support the growth of new regional supply chains.

“It will also be great to be back at Riverside Sunderland following our work on the award-winning Beam Riverside which we completed in 2019. We look forward to working with the team again.”

Construction work on the development is due to commence in November and the first tranche of homes will be completed by May 2023.

The housing is part of an ambitious and exciting masterplan for Riverside Sunderland that will include residential, commercial and leisure developments.  It is part of a programme of development projects in the Riverside Sunderland area that, taken together, aim to double the residential population in the city centre and increase employment by 50 per cent.

To stay up to date with Riverside Sunderland developments, visit or follow @RiversideSund on social media.