Riverside Sunderland

Perched upon the banks of the River Wear, Riverside Sunderland is an exciting new development that is transforming the heart of this resurgent North East city.

More than 0.5billion investment is pouring into Sunderland city centre, creating a new climate of confidence and optimism among the general public and investors alike. And Riverside Sunderland is the focal point of that charge.

Led by a series of innovative commercial, leisure, public sector and residential developments, Riverside Sunderland reflects the city's aspirations for Sunderland, focusing on sustainability, health and wellbeing, social inclusion and prosperity.

It will provide jobs and homes for the people of Sunderland, and attract skilled workers, students and visitors. The development will comprise three main parts...

“As part of the reinvestment strategy for The Hanro Group, which was implemented in 2017, we have made four significant acquisitions in Sunderland. We have been attracted by the investment in infrastructure, the pragmatic approach and positive attitude of Sunderland City Council, and the scope for rental and capital growth in all sectors. Our commercial portfolio in Sunderland has performed well, and we are very positive about the future.

“There is a growing sense of confidence about Sunderland, and investors – like Hanro - are responding to that positivity and proactivity. It’s therefore no surprise that the city’s skyline is changing at such a rapid rate.”

Adam Serfontein
Managing Director - Hanro Group


Sunderland is a resurgent city by the sea, that has seen investment flood in to its inner city and surrounding areas in recent years.

Known around the world as a hardworking city – a reputation built on the success of its coal mining and shipbuilding heritage and still demonstrated by Nissan today - Sunderland has quietly reinvented its economy, with digital and technology, healthcare and advanced manufacturing now coming to the fore.

Riverside Sunderland will build on this quiet revolution, creating new spaces for businesses and people to flourish.

The vision for this prime location is built on its natural assets. Sunderland’s city centre stands on the edge of the river and within walking distance of its coastline. Boasting unparalled views, natural greenery and unrivalled connectivity, this is a place that has limitless potential. And now that potential is going to be realised.

Cliffe Park Lighthouse

Employment Zone

Looking through window of The BEAM

The Employment Zone will be the economic heart of Riverside Sunderland, attracting vibrant, ambitious businesses to its stunning buildings.

Already, the area will be home to the world’s largest online grocer, after Ocado announced plans to open a new key hub at The Beam, the first of a number of buildings to emerge in this exciting new location.

Civic & Cultural Buildings

City Hall will herald the emergence of a new 'civic heart' that will stand shoulder to shoulder with the Employment Zone, to create a new base for public services. City Hall will house a range of services that will enable residents to access services that are designed around them, and will stand alongside a new City Library and local studies centre, which will be housed in a landmark contemporary building.

Anchored by Sunderland’s own ’West End’, the historic Empire Theatre, a stunning meeting place – and the crossroads between the city’s main shopping district and Riverside Sunderland.

Already benefiting from many millions of pounds of investment, this is the place where people meet, eat, drink and enjoy the city. This vibrant cityspot stands in the shadow of Sunderland Minster, itself subject of a multi-million-pound investment programme, with public realm that can be enjoyed by day and night.

Homes & Community Life

A stunning new place for homes & community life is the third pillar of this exciting project and will ensure that, for the first time in decades, a growing number of people will choose Sunderland city centre as a place to live, buy or rent a home and raise a family.

A community spanning the river will emerge, with three distinctive neighbourhoods linked by a new pedestrian and cyclist river crossing. This will provide an ethical, healthy lifestyle that cannot be replicated elsewhere in the city, creating a brand new, sustainable community in the heart of the city.


The demand for high-quality commercial space in Sunderland is clear, with the first speculative building on Riverside Sunderland, The Beam, already attracting a global business with ambitions to grow roots in Sunderland.

The Beam marks the first stage in the creation of a new Employment Zone which will deliver a total of 750,000 sq ft of modern offices by 2030, bringing 6,000 well-paid new jobs to the city centre.

The plans for the Employment Zone are rigorous but flexible, suitable for businesses ranging from tech start-ups to SMEs and large investors. Elsewhere, the progress of the Employment Zone will encourage the restoration and reuse of existing buildings such as the former Gilbridge Police Station. Land at Farringdon Row has been allocated for up to 175,000 sq ft of space for bio-medical and other SMEs needing customer-facing accommodation in the city centre.

The Employment Zone will not be a segregated office-only zone. It is an integral part of the masterplan for Riverside Sunderland, linked to other character/functional areas by a strong street grid and high-quality public realm. Active ground-floor uses such as bars, restaurants, coffee shops, a health centre, a gym and a crèche will animate the Employment Zone seven days a week and connect it seamlessly to its neighbours.

VAUX site masterplan Sunderland


The development of Riverside Sunderland will create an exciting new place for people to live—something there is high demand for, but low supply of in the city centre right now.

Seaburn Beach

Riverside Sunderland will create a high-quality new residential location, that delivers an ethical,
healthy lifestyle that cannot be replicated elsewhere in the city.

As identified in the map above, homes & community life will be a community spanning the river, with three distinctive neighbourhoods linked by a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists—is the place where that will happen.

The Riverside site offers extraordinary views and a rich heritage, and it is in the heart of the city, close to shops and other amenities and well-served by public transport. There will be a new nursery school and primary school, and other community facilities.

Green spaces, allotments and a community orchard will promote healthy living, this area will be served by a low-carbon district energy system. Ultra-energy efficient factory-built homes will allow for customisation, with integrated smart technology and electrical vehicle charging points.

Keel Square

The three neighbourhoods within Homes & Community Life (as identified in the map above) will each have a different and complementary character:

On the western edge of the business district, will have the most strongly urban character, with a high density mix of houses, maisonettes and apartments overlooking Galley’s Gill and the site of the historic Lambton Coal Drops.

Farringdon Row
Will curve around the west side of Galley’s Gill and along the riverside, with amazing views along the river to Monkwearmouth Bridge; this will primarily be an area of family housing.

Will occupy a south-facing site on the north bank of the river, served by St Peter’s Metro station and linked to the rest of the Green Village by a new bridge for walkers and cyclists. 

When fully developed, this area will provide 950 homes for about 2,000 new city centre residents.


Interested in finding out more about Riverside Sunderland and how you can get involved? Download our prospectus or leave your details with us via the form to stay up to date.

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