All eyes on Sunderland as fly-through shows region's new Eye Hospital taking shape
A stunning fly-through showing plans for the North East's new Eye Hospital in Sunderland has been released, after it was confirmed that Kier is the preferred construction partner for the £36m development.
Healthcare leaders at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and partners at Sunderland City Council have shared a 3D visual of how the striking new building - home to the region's only dedicated specialist standalone Eye Hospital - will look once completed. The fly-through also shows a detailed visualisation of how construction work will roll-out on the new Eye Hospital, which is expected to open its doors to patients in 2024.
The development will replace the existing Sunderland Eye Infirmary facilities on Queen Alexandra Road, which are now over 75 years old. Kier's appointment as preferred bidder follows a competitive tendering process. The company is a leading provider of infrastructure services, construction and property development and places a strong focus on sustainably delivering infrastructure across the UK.
The planned new Eye Hospital in Sunderland will continue to be home to a nationally renowned Cataract Treatment Centre and will strengthen Sunderland's existing reputation across the NHS, both regionally and nationally, as a centre of excellence for eye services, caring for patients from across the North East, Cumbria and beyond.
Work is expected to begin on site at Riverside Sunderland next spring. All clinical services currently provided from the existing Sunderland Eye Infirmary will transfer to the new state-of-the-art facility to be delivered from a purpose-built environment in a much more accessible city centre location.
Ken Bremner MBE, Chief Executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This is another important milestone in our journey to creating a new fit-for-purpose Eye Hospital and very exciting for staff and patients to see how the stunning new facility will look.
"Sunderland has always been home to specialist eye services in our region and we are very proud to continue this legacy by building a hospital that will serve our communities for many future generations to come. As the NHS recovers from the impact of COVID-19, the new Eye Hospital will be essential in making sure we do all we can to reduce waiting lists and make sure that local people and patients across the wider region can be treated as quickly as possible."
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "Plans for a more accessible Eye Hospital, that matches up to the world-class team that occupies it, is something many people in the city are excited to see realised, and this visualisation of how the hospital will look really does bring it to life.
"We're immensely proud of the transformation we are leading at Riverside Sunderland. This is one part of a huge programme of change that is creating places where people will live, work, play and use, and seeing a 3D fly-through that showcases how this building will change the skyline is quite something."
A planning application for the hospital was given the green light earlier this month. Proposals for the hospital were developed by the council with an award-winning team, including North East architects Ryder and Turner & Townsend Project Management. STSFT took on board the views of hundreds of patients and members of the public from across the region, as well as The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), following extensive patient and public involvement.
The new Eye Hospital in Sunderland will stand alongside The Beam; City Hall, which is just days away from 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.
For more information visit about the region's new Eye Hospital visit www.stsft.nhs.uk/neweyehospital. To stay up to date with progress at Riverside Sunderland, visit www.riversidesunderland.com or follow @RiversideSund on social media.