FaulknerBrowns has submitted plans for new council offices as part of the long-awaited redevelopment of the Vaux Brewery site in Sunderland
The Newcastle practice has filed proposals for an 18,000m2 ‘business hub’ within the troubled plot, which has laid dormant since 1999.
Sunderland City Council is expected to move 1,200 employees into the seven-storey building, sharing the offices with other public bodies looking to generate savings as well as some private firms.
Numerous earlier attempts to redevelop the 5.5ha brewery site have failed, including a 1,000-home scheme designed by CZWG.
Design consultancy Urbed’s outline plan for a mixed-use masterplan for the site was approved in 2016 alongside an office-led first phase by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.
But this scheme hit a setback when main contractor Carillion entered liquidation in January 2018. Work ceased on site for most of the first half of last year before Gateshead-based Tolent was brought in to replace the collapsed construction giant.
The FCBS scheme – known as the Beam – is now expected to complete in April.
Meanwhile FaulknerBrowns has applied to build on plots 13 and 14, with the building to include a medical centre, creche, restaurant and roof terrace.
John Seager, chief executive of council development partner Siglion, said: ‘It’s fantastic that with weeks to go until we open our first building on site, the Beam, we are already in a position to look ahead to phase two and submit a planning application.
‘This second building will provide an extremely flexible space made up of two buildings connected by a glass atrium with an ability to accommodate many types of different occupiers.’
Seager said the overall development would ‘play a critical role in the regeneration of the whole city centre’.
He added: ‘It is important that the second building – much like the first – is a space that can deliver a modern, efficient, healthy workplace as well as a place that the public can enjoy.
‘Working with FaulknerBrowns, we have been able to design a space that – like the Beam – raises the bar in the city. We are very hopeful that we will be on site soon and getting this new development underway.’
Subject to planning and other variables, the business hub could be completed by 2021.