AN £87million deal to help create 9,000 jobs and get key projects off the ground in Sunderland has been agreed by Government.
Sunderland City Council has agreed the “City Deal” with Ministers and civil servants which will include the creation of a new gigantic International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) to the west of the A19.
It will also see work start on the building of the long-awaited new Wear bridge.
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said: “The people of Sunderland are now going to get something that they have wanted for 100 years and have been campaigning about for 50 years, thanks to the work of officers and this council.
“This is a major achievement that has been delivered against the odds as Central Government has been cutting its spending.
“We’re going to be delivering this bridge, and have got the money for this bridge, and at a time of recession.”
Under the City Deal status, Sunderland gets:
•£5 million for the development of an International Advanced Manufacturing Park next to Nissan – equivalent to the size of 140 football pitches.
•£82.5million of funding that finally gives the green light to the long-awaited new road bridge over the Wear.
•The creation of 8,900 jobs by 2031.
•A new Central Business District on the Vaux site, aimed at injecting new life to Sunderland city centre.
•A Skills Compact to help the unemployed or unskilled.
It is hoped the deal will also attract £295million of private sector investment in the city’s manufacturing industry.
The bid to Government for a deal was made by Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council.
Both councils worked with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP). Government confirmed the Sunderland City Deal in Partnership with South Tyneside today.
The 100 hectare IAMP development – the equivalent of 140 football pitches of new industry and business park – would house automotive, off-shore and other hi-tech businesses.
It would build on the North East region’s track record for manufacturing and exports.
Councillor Watson said: “This ambitious and successful bid recognises the potential for growth in the region’s manufacturing sector.
“The success of this bid underlines the importance of solid infrastructure investments for achieving economic growth, and how important Sunderland and South Tyneside are to the region, the UK, and how much more they can offer.
“We’ve worked very closely with businesses and the Government on drawing up the deal and all its detail.
He added: “Our deal is reflecting broader North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) priorities, the Government’s priorities and recognises the close relationship between Sunderland and South Tyneside. This relationship between Sunderland and South Tyneside is a special one because of the economic importance of the A19.
“This is a City Deal building on the region’s successful track record of partnership working.”
The Government invited Sunderland and South Tyneside to submit a City Deal proposal in February 2013.