Carillion starts work today on the first building at the former Vaux brewery site in Sunderland after the site has stood empty for 17 years.

The key city centre site now forms part of a major city wide regeneration programme being undertaken by Siglion, a joint venture between Carillion, Sunderland City Council and Igloo Regeneration.

The first building is a 60,000sq ft office block. It will be the first speculative office in Sunderland for several years.

As part of Carillion’s commitment to working with local suppliers its aim is that 60% of its spend will be with suppliers in the region.

The Vaux site is the first of five areas of the city to be developed in a 20-year regeneration scheme managed by Siglion. The high-profile site will include office, retail, residential and leisure facilities.

Michael Rutherford, senior project manager with Carillion, said: “Today not only signals an important milestone for the iconic Vaux site but for the wider regeneration of Sunderland.

As a business Carillion is committed to adding lasting value to society and this starts on our doorstep. This means focusing on jobs for local people, training and community engagement.”