A stunning fly-through showing how the new £36m Eye Hospital in Sunderland will look has been released.

Healthcare leaders at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and partners at Sunderland City Council have shared a 3D visual of how the striking new building – home to the region’s only dedicated specialist standalone Eye Hospital – will look once completed by construction partner Kier.

The fly-through also shows a detailed visualisation of how construction work will roll-out on the new Eye Hospital, which is expected to open its doors to patients in 2024.

The development will replace the existing Sunderland Eye Infirmary facilities on Queen Alexandra Road, which are now over 75 years old.

Kier’s appointment as preferred bidder follows a competitive tendering process. The company is a leading provider of infrastructure services, construction and property development and places a strong focus on sustainably delivering infrastructure across the UK.

The planned new Eye Hospital in Sunderland will continue to be home to a nationally renowned Cataract Treatment Centre and will strengthen Sunderland’s existing reputation across the NHS, both regionally and nationally, as a centre of excellence for eye services, caring for patients from across the North East, Cumbria and beyond.

Work is expected to begin on site at Riverside Sunderland next spring.

All clinical services currently provided from the existing Sunderland Eye Infirmary will transfer to the new state-of-the-art facility to be delivered from a purpose-built environment in a much more accessible city centre location.

Ken Bremner MBE, Chief Executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is another important milestone in our journey to creating a new fit-for-purpose Eye Hospital and very exciting for staff and patients to see how the stunning new facility will look.

“Sunderland has always been home to specialist eye services in our region and we are very proud to continue this legacy by building a hospital that will serve our communities for many future generations to come.

“As the NHS recovers from the impact of COVID-19, the new Eye Hospital will be essential in making sure we do all we can to reduce waiting lists and make sure that local people and patients across the wider region can be treated as quickly as possible.”

A planning application for the hospital was given the green light earlier this month.

Proposals for the hospital were developed by Sunderland City Council with an award-winning team, including North East architects Ryder and Turner & Townsend Project Management.

The Trust took on board the views of hundreds of patients and members of the public from across the region, as well as The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), following extensive patient and public involvement.

The new Eye Hospital in Sunderland will stand alongside The Beam; City Hall, which is just days away from completion, and two further commercial properties that are being developed as part of Legal & General’s £100m commitment to Riverside Sunderland.

The building is one of a number of large-scale development projects progressing in the city centre, part of an ambitious vision to double the residential population in the city centre and increase employment by 50 per cent.