The long-awaited regeneration of the site of the former Vaux brewery in Sunderland has moved a step closer after the preferred bidders for the project were chosen.

Sunderland City Council selected a consortium led by Carillion and Igloo Regeneration to take on the development, the latter will act as strategic partner. The agreement will begin by focusing on a number of sites across the city which have been earmarked for redevelopment and represent a value of at least £100 million over the first eight years. However, this could rise to £800 million over 20 years.

The Vaux brewery will be one of the priorities, which has sat vacant since the buildings were knocked down in 1999. There have been many proposals laid out in the 14 years since its closure but none had got underway. However, councillors believe that the deal with Carillion and Igloo Regeneration could finally bring an end to the uncertainty over the site.

Officials added that there will be work carried out in other areas such as Seaburn, Chapelgarth, Farringdon Row, Holmeside and parts of the East End. It marks a major redevelopment of the city which has been overlooked in recent years.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "The chance to take part in an ambitious, long-term initiative attracted bids from a number of leading UK companies.

“We were delighted at the high standard of the shortlisted bids and it was a difficult task to choose the preferred bidder, but the commitment, track record and approach of our chosen partner gave it the winning edge."

Sunderland is also set to be home to a new Hilton hotel after plans were unveiled in May 2013. The new hotel will stand outside the Stadium of Light and next to the Aquatics Centre and aims to bring in yet more commerce for the city. Not only is it handy for football supporters but it will also accommodate music fans when the ground hosts numerous high-profile concerts.

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