Tolent housing scheme will go ahead despite collapse, says council


A plan to build modern homes on the site of an old brewery will still go ahead, despite the contractor falling into administration.  

Construction workers.
by Rory ButlerFebruary 21, 2023

Sunderland City Council said it is still committed to delivering a new housing scheme on the site of the former Vaux brewery at Riverside Sunderland, which Gateshead firm Tolent had been due to lead before it collapsed last week. 

Tolent is one of the largest contractors in the North East, with revenues of around £200 million. Its collapse made 313 staff redundant. 

Interpath Advisory has been appointed as administrators of Tolent and its subsidiaries. 

It is also understood Aticus Law has been approached by former Tolent workers considering legal action against the firm. 

In the wake, the City Council said it still intends to press ahead with the Vaux Housing site, which before the collapse could have seen some houses ready by the end of the year. 

Tolent had been appointed to build 135 homes at Riverside Sunderland, the first batch of hundreds of new homes planned for the area.  

Council leader Councillor Graeme Miller said however that the scheme is going to be “pushed back” until it appoints a new developer. 

“We are in a dialogue with administrators and remain committed to continuing with our ambitious plans for the Vaux Housing site going forward,” said a Sunderland City Council spokesman. 

Cllr Miller told the BBC the Council “always knew there were risks with every construction deal”, adding, “so you put protections in place.”  

The Vaux brewery site was purchased by the Council in 2011 having stood vacant since 1999. 

Tolent took over its redevelopment after previous developer Carillion collapsed in 2018.  

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