Ambitious plans to attract £1billion of investment to Wearside

Paul Callaghan and, inset, how the Echo first reported the story back in March.
Paul Callaghan and, inset, how the Echo first reported the story back in March.
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City leaders were today gathering to discuss an ambitious blueprint aimed at attracting £1billion investment and 20,000 jobs to Wearside.

As reported by the Echo back in March, the city’s Economic Leadership Board and Sunderland Business Group have come up with the 3, 6, 9 Vision, which is set to shape the cultural and economic development of Wearside in the coming years.

Since it was first announced, the city has seen a host of major developments, including work beginning on the new £117million Wear Crossing and Nissan’s announcement in September that it will invest £100million in its Sunderland plant building the new Juke model to help secure work beyond 2020.

Those behind the 3, 6, 9 Vision hope the creation of the International Advanced Manufacturing Project (IAMP) – with hopes to attract £300million investment and create 5,000 jobs – will play a major part in turning the dreams into reality.

City leaders also hope to see 2,000 new jobs created in the software sector and a further 2,500 through the redevelopment of the old Vaux site.

Civic figures were today meeting at Sunderland University’s FabLab to give an update on how the blueprint is progressing and the changes people can expect to see in the coming years.

The 3, 6, 9 Vision will also celebrate major events coming to Sunderland, including the 2018 Tall Ships Race, while promoting the bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2021.

Each year leading up to 2024 will have a specific theme.

Within the next three years, projects expected to be completed in Sunderland will be the transformation of the former central fire station into an arts and culture hub, the building of a Hilton Hotel, at the Stadium of Light, and the move of Sunderland College to its new city centre campus.

Paul Callaghan, chairman of the city’s Economic Leadership Board, was due to deliver an update on the 3, 6, 9 Vision today in an address entitled ‘Count the jobs, count the cranes’.

Speaking back in March, he said: “Investment of about £750million is going to come into the city that we are aware of.

“But we want to encourage more investment, closer to £1billion, so that we transform Sunderland.”