July 12, 2024

The first new properties at the former Sunderland Civic Centre site are nearing completion.

The clearing of the old council buildings began in October last year – the first stage of a landmark project to transform the site into a vibrant city centre community of 265 homes. West Park Quarter, as it will be called, is being constructed by regeneration specialist Vistry North East, part of the Vistry Group.

Occupying the site of the old surface level car park, this first new structure comprises 69 one and two bedroomed apartments, which will be made available for private rent by Sigma’s Build-to-Rent (BTR) brand, Simple Life Homes. The first residents are expected to move in by the end of 2024.

Vistry North East has also already begun work on a further 69 properties for Simple Life – a mix of 50 homes and 19 apartments, as well as new properties for open market sale – via the Linden Homes brand – expected to be available to buy later this summer.

Sean Egan, Managing Director, Vistry North East, said: “Our West Park Quarter project is creating a range of high-quality new homes close to scenic and accessible open green spaces. These will incorporate plenty of cycling and pedestrian links, improving public access to and from the city centre.

“We have an excellent working relationship with Sigma, having partnered with them on other large-scale developments, most recently at Bishops Park, in Bishop Auckland. We’ve received great feedback on the design and quality of the build and it has been noted how we have been able to deliver on all of the ambitious targets we agreed at the outset.

“West Park Quarter is a flagship project for our business. A complex scheme, working in close partnership with Sunderland City Council, we’ve been able to support the move to the new City Hall and unlock the potential of the old civic site in a way that will re-energise this part of the city centre.

“In addition, our mixed tenure approach has enabled us to deliver the new homes at pace – and by improving the choice and standard of both new rental and open market sale properties in the centre of Sunderland – we aim to create a modern, thriving community for people to live in and enjoy.”

Jason Berry, Regional Managing Director for Simple Life Homes, comments: “We have been working with Vistry for many years to deliver thousands of homes across the UK, in areas that have an undersupply of build to rent housing.

“After experiencing a high-demand in the North East region for Simple Life homes, we are excited to be introduce West Park Quarter to the area – offering high quality rental homes, matched with a professional approach to renting for local residents of Sunderland.”
West Park Quarter will also include works to recreate Saint George’s Square – bomb damaged during the Second World War and lost to redevelopment in the 60s – with the Grade II listed Saint George’s House as the focal point. The architecture and streetscapes being constructed have been planned to be sensitive to existing structures, the park side location and the Ashbrooke Conservation Area.

The development is part of a wider programme of regeneration and a broader housing strategy for the city centre. This will provide a welcome boost to existing traders and improve connectivity between the city centre, neighbouring communities and Mowbray Park. It also supports the council’s plans to build more than 7,000 new homes within the next ten years.

Vistry Group is the UK’s leading provider of affordable mixed tenure homes. A young and dynamic business with a Partnerships-led approach – delivered through the Countryside Partnerships brand – the group is delivering thousands of homes every year for the affordable and private marketplaces. It also encompasses a portfolio of retail brands, including Linden Homes, Bovis Homes and Countryside Homes.


*Picture caption: Left to right: Mark Rutledge, Operations Director, Vistry North East; Bob Beadle, Project Manager, Vistry North East; Graham Barnet, Chief Executive Officer, Sigma; Sean Egan, Managing Director, Vistry North East; Kenny Brewster, Acquisition and Investment Director, Sigma and Jason Berry, Regional Managing Director, Sigma.


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