Kier has been appointed as preferred bidder by Sunderland City Council, to develop a new £36m Eye Hospital in Sunderland for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

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 of England, Cumbria and beyond.

The project will replace the existing Sunderland Eye Infirmary facilities which are now over 75 years old and will deliver a new home for specialist eye services provided by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT).

The new facility will provide 7,000sqm of state-of-the-art clinical accommodation. Through an accessible and inclusive design, all floors will be easily accessible with the main entrance and reception providing level access from street level from both the north and south approaches to the site.

The ground floor will house the emergency department, and the hospital will also include medical retina, diagnostic imaging, and outpatient services as well as clinical functions.

The ambition of this project is to provide a new contemporary healthcare facility and is a key part of the Riverside Sunderland regeneration scheme, which will create a dynamic mixed use urban quarter, already backed with £100m investment from Legal and General. 

Works are due to start on site in summer 2022 with completion due in 2024.

Dan Doherty, regional director at Kier Construction North & Scotland, said: “There are very few specialist eye hospitals in the country and we are pleased to have been given the opportunity to develop a new state of the art Eye Hospital in Sunderland and make it fit for the future.

“We have vast amounts of experience and expertise in delivering healthcare projects across the country and we are proud to be working in collaboration with the Council, the Trust and our local supply chain to deliver this key project for the region.”

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, and we’re delighted to have appointed Kier to make this vision a reality.

“We particularly look forward to seeing the social value this project will deliver – for Sunderland people and businesses – something we’re very passionate about.”

This award reinforces Kier’s position as a leading provider of healthcare facilities, with the successful delivery of a new £10m Eye Care Centre to NHS Golden Jubilee in Clydebank in December 2020.

You can watch the fly-through of the project below: