On Monday 27 November, the project partners hosted a ground breaking ceremony on site to mark the start of works. Kier is the main contractor on the project for both the design and build and is working closely with Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) to deliver the facility.
The Trust’s existing eye infirmary is already a leading provider of eye care services in the UK and the new, contemporary healthcare facility will help to meet the growing demands of an ageing population.
Providing state-of-the-art clinical accommodation, the new healthcare facility will form a key part of the Sunderland Riverside regeneration scheme. The ground and first floors will be home to an emergency department as well as services including medical retina, diagnostic imaging and outpatients.
Additional clinical services will be based on levels 2 and 3, with a new energy centre being built at the west of the site.
Kier has worked to design an inclusive facility that is accessible for all users. All floors will be easily accessible from the main entrance and reception areas, with street level access on both sides of the building.
A programme of enabling and preparatory works has already been completed by Kier and work on the new hospital is expected to complete in spring 2026.
"We are proud to be working in partnership with Sunderland City Council and STFT to deliver such a significant building for the city and the wider region.
This project will bring many benefits to the North East including new local employment, apprenticeships and work placements through our comprehensive and accomplished social value programme."
regional director for Kier Construction North & Scotland
"This is a fantastic day for the city of Sunderland and our local NHS. The new Eye Hospital marks the start of another key milestone in our Riverside Sunderland development, and we are very proud to work in partnership with the NHS to deliver this. I have no doubt this will be an outstanding healthcare facility and continue to build on Sunderland’s legacy as a leading provider of eye care in the UK."
portfolio holder for Riverside Sunderland
"This is a momentous day not only for the NHS, but for the city of Sunderland and our whole region. The new Eye Hospital will help us treat patients for decades ahead and provide a much better experience for patients and staff alike. We now look forward to seeing the building work progress and seeing the plans which have been created with the support of our patients, staff and partners become a reality."
Chief Executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust