Start in sight for Sunderland’s £36m eye hospital
Leaders at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and the city council can enter contracts with Kier, with work on site expected to begin before Christmas.
Approval was given at cabinet level for contracts to be signed, and work is expected to take two years.
Planning permission for the new Eye Hospital was originally granted in November 2021 with a subsequent application approved in November 2022, designed to future-proof potential expansions.
An extended period of further due diligence has since taken place as the design phase has been honed. The new facility will provide a new base for what is a nationally renowned cataract treatment centre.
Ken Bremner, chief executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I want to thank our staff at Sunderland Eye Infirmary who have worked so hard to help us get the design and infrastructure right for the new facility and all those patients and members of the public who gave us their feedback which has also been taken into consideration.
“It has taken some time to get to this point, but we will now start to see things moving at pace. As a Board we have remained resolute in our ambition to provide a new fit-for-purpose Eye Hospital in Sunderland.
“The city has always been home to specialist eye services in our region and we are very proud to continue this legacy for many future generations.”
The development will replace the existing Sunderland Eye Infirmary facilities on Queen Alexandra Road, which are now more than 75 years old.
Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The new Eye Hospital is a flagship part of our Riverside Sunderland development and we are delighted to work in partnership with the NHS to make this happen, creating a space that is befitting of the exceptional level of care that the nationally renowned Eye Hospital team deliver, as well as a place that we can be proud to welcome people to.
“We’re immensely proud of the transformation we are leading of our city centre in Sunderland. The new Eye Hospital is just one part of a huge programme of change that is creating places where people will live, work and play.”