December 4, 2019
THE BEAM – Sunderland’s flagship office building that stands on the former Vaux Brewery site – has kicked off a programme of transformation, which will see the rebirth of this prime city centre location
Sunderland has seen waves of investment flow into its resurgent city centre, with its Riverside Sunderland district boosted by a £120 million commitment from Legal & General (L&G) revealed in November.
Lit up at night, THE BEAM proudly punctuates an expanse of land that will soon be completely reimagined, underpinned by £120 million of investment from the UK’s largest asset manager, L&G. It is the first building to emerge from the ground on the former Vaux Brewery site, but – one thing’s for sure – it won’t be the last. Riverside Sunderland, the new name for the northernmost edge of Sunderland’s city centre, will soon welcome three more buildings to stand alongside THE BEAM, including the new City Hall development after L&G agreed a deal with Sunderland City Council.
“It’s a mark of confidence – investment on the scale that L&G has committed to,” says Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council. “And THE BEAM has – in no small part – contributed to that.
“The reaction from the market – with the building more than half full already in a matter of months – shows that Sunderland is a highly investible city, and I think that’s allowed us to send a bold and brave message to investors; Sunderland is absolutely open for business.”
THE BEAM opened its doors in the summer, and within weeks it was announced that online grocery business Ocado would be creating 300 jobs in the building, opening a dedicated customer service hub and occupying the top two floors.
Speaking of the move, Ian Pattle, general manager, customer service and strategy at Ocado, says: “We’re pleased to be coming to Sunderland as we grow our market-leading customer service proposition. The new Contact
Centre will support our existing service and we look forward to welcoming new talent from the local area to our team.”
Weeks after the Ocado announcement, Penshaw View revealed it was also making the move to THE BEAM. The expanding training provider and health and safety business, which was founded and has expanded in Sunderland, has taken a large ground floor space in the 59,427sq ft building, relocating its 30-strong team and creating capacity for ongoing expansion. With every detail of the building specified to provide a healthy work environment where people feel well, THE BEAM is a truly modern office development at the heart of Riverside Sunderland, which, with L&G’s commitment, is undergoing a transformation that will establish it as one of the city’s most vibrant, mixed-use destinations in the region.