SUNDERLAND City Council has launched the hunt for a private investment partner to redevelop major sites across Wearside.

As part of the deal the council would throw in a portfolio of more than 400 properties as its part of a public-private partnership to transform parts of the city over the next 20 years.

Under the banner of Sunderland Delivery Vehicle (SDV) the partnership aims to boost enterprise, housing and commerce by redeveloping areas like Holmeside, the former Vaux site, the riverside and other prime locations that have been starved of investment for so long.

Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This initiative will spark a new chapter of citywide regeneration, creating important new places to live and work, and generating excellent value for residents and taxpayers.

“The SDV will invigorate key areas of the city and offer new opportunities for employment, housing, shopping and culture. This joint venture means we can breathe new life into under-used publicly owned land in prime sites for development.

“We have scrutinised our assets and decided which from our broad portfolio could best be brought forward to maximise their potential. Through this joint delivery structure we will be actively involved as a partner in their future management and growth.”

Malcolm Page, Sunderland City Council’s executive director of commercial and corporate services, said the council will select a partner who can deliver its objectives to the consistently high standard over a 15 to 20 year period.

He said: “The Sunderland delivery vehicle offers an outstanding opportunity to bring about change through developments with the size and scale to create a permanent, positive impact on the city and the wider region.”

The council aims to appoint a private sector partner by the middle of next year 2013 with the help of commercial land agent Jones Lang LaSalle.

Jonathan Bull-Diamond, director of development at Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “Sunderland Council is adopting an innovative and long-term approach to facilitate the funding and investment necessary to kick-start a number of key strategic development sites, whilst sharing in future profits and further catalysing citywide economic activity.”