Firms bid to secure housing project.
The council launched a procurement exercise last November in order to find a joint venture partner to build over 2,500 houses at 19 existing and potential sites throughout Gateshead.
The first stage is now complete and 15 possible partners have been whittled down to nine, who will now go onto the next stage and receive an Invitation To Participate in Dialogue (ITPD).
The nine companies are Barratt Homes, CM Yuill and Gentoo, Compendium Group (comprising Riverside group and Lovell Partnership), Home Group and Galifordtry, Keepmoat, McInerney Homes NE, Miller Homes, Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey.
The purpose of the ITPD is to provide background to the Council's aims and requirements, as well as to assess the business case of each party.
At the next stage of the selection process, each of the nine companies will be asked to submit detailed proposals, after which the council expects to draw up a final short-list of three.
The value of the project is around pounds 1bn which, when taking into account other major projects, means Gateshead is now one of the biggest regeneration areas in the UK.
Stuart Timmiss, head of planning and environmental strategy for Gateshead Council, said: "We are very pleased with the response. Developers have confirmed that this is the right approach, especially in today's economic climate."