Vaux Neighbourhood

TV Architect George Clarke is among a line-up of experts helping to shape plans for 1,000 new cutting-edge homes at Riverside Sunderland, it has been revealed. 

The Washington-born small-screen star, who has presented shows such as George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and Old House New Home, is part of a passionate group of individuals and businesses driving ambitious plans to provide homes for more than 2,500 people on the banks of the Wear. 

As well as contributing to the Riverside Sunderland Masterplan – a Sunderland City Council-led vision that will see the former Vaux Brewery site, High Street West, Galley’s Gill, Farringdon Row and Sheepfolds transformed into a vibrant mixed-use urban quarter – the TV favourite is also kicking off a significant housing events programme, Sunderland Future Living Expo. 

The Expo will showcase the city as a place to live on a  national and international stage, and will launch on 19th October with a week-long series of roundtable discussions involving key policy makers, housing professionals and local business groups. The launch will start the countdown to a festival of events, displays and discussions in the summer of 2023, that will showcase innovative new ways of building homes, and creating sustainable communities that enable the people of Sunderland to live healthy and fulfilling lifestyles. 

Mr Clarke, who is a vocal advocate for high-quality housing design, is working with the council to explore how modern methods of construction and strong design principles can create homes that are truly cutting-edge at Riverside Sunderland.  The first community of homes will be built by 2023, as part of a multi-million pound transformation programme that will reinvigorate the city centre site. Riverside Sunderland will be a vibrant mixed-use urban quarter that, when fully developed, will include 1,000 high-quality new homes, more than a million square feet of modern employment space, and will create up to new 10.000 jobs. 

George, who trained with local architect FaulknerBrowns, which has been involved in the production of the Riverside Sunderland Masterplan, said: “I’m delighted to be part of this project.  Riverside Sunderland is a prime development site and one that is worthy of world-class design and innovation. 

“It is naturally stunning, with dramatic views over the river, and beautiful greenery that gives this a unique aspect.  There is no doubt that the smart and sustainable homes being built at Riverside Sunderland will create a special place to live – somewhere with all the vitality of city centre living, teamed with the open spaces and scenic views that more suburban homes enjoy.”

George said he has been impressed by the new vision for Riverside Sunderland, which will bring back to life forgotten parts of the city. 

“Sunderland’s riverside has long been an underutilised asset, and through the new Masterplan, we will see it realise its potential.  Homes are only a piece of the jigsaw, offices and leisure spaces are important too, and will create the vibrancy you would expect in a city centre.  There will be a renewed sense of activity at Riverside Sunderland that hasn’t been experienced for a long, long time.  I am thrilled to be part of the team making that happen.  It feels like the right people are on board to ensure that Sunderland does something very special here.”

Mr Clarke is one of a number of experts supporting the delivery of the Riverside Sunderland Masterplan, which was released this week. The Masterplan  sets out ambitions to kick-start the regeneration of a 33 hectare site spanning the River Wear, creating the UK’s first carbon-neutral urban quarter. 

He will also take part in a webinar discussion focussing on the creation of local education, training and employment opportunities, that will maximise the retention of local talent and maintain Sunderland’s reputation for manufacturing and innovation.