Sunderland’s new £36m Eye Hospital takes step forward

A £34m contract to construct Sunderland’s world-class eye hospital is out to open tender.

The hunt is on for a contractor to build Sunderland’s new state of the art eye hospital at Riverside Sunderland, after a planning application was submitted for the four-storey building in June.  A decision is expected to be made by Sunderland City Council’s planning committee later this year. 

The building was designed by North East architects Ryder, with Turner & Townsend on board as project manager, and the development is being led by Sunderland City Council, working with South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, who will occupy the building. 

The new base will replace the Trust’s 75-year-old Eye Infirmary, based in the city’s suburbs.  Work on the new building is due to start in spring next year, and the new hospital is expected to be completed in 2024. 

As well as assessing the technical and commercial advantages of contractor bids, the council will also assess tender submissions based on the social value they are able to deliver.  This includes a focus on local supply chain used and jobs created through the contract, as well contributions to community groups and supporting good causes through volunteering. 

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Proposals to move the Eye Hospital to Riverside Sunderland are really exciting and feedback from the public suggests it will deliver significant advantages, thanks to its central location in the heart of Riverside Sunderland.  

“We want the advantages for our local communities to be felt from the moment construction starts on this important building, so we’re looking forward to working with a partner who can deliver the world-class hospital the city deserves, engaging the support of local people and businesses in the process.”

The new Eye Hospital will stand alongside The Beam; City Hall, which is nearing completion, and two further commercial properties that are being developed as part of Legal & General’s £100m commitment to Riverside Sunderland.  The building is one of a number of large-scale development projects progressing in the city centre, part of an ambitious vision to double the residential population in the city centre and increase employment by 50 per cent.

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