MORE than 100 jobs are to be created on Wearside with the latest multi-million pound investment by US automotive giant Lear Corporation.
The firm is more than doubling the size of its Rainton Bridge plant, which produces foam for car seats.
The project, which has received £500,000 funding from the Let’s Grow Regional Growth Fund, will add a further 3,500sqm to the plant, to house additional production equipment as the factory ramps up production to meet existing demand from Nissan business and new business for Jaguar Landrover (JLR).
Lear’s President of Europe and Africa, Gideon Jewel, who travelled to Sunderland to carry out the ground-breaking ceremony for the new development with Sunderland City Council deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman, said: “We worked closely with Sunderland City Council to bring Lear to the city in 2011 and they have strongly supported the extension of the plant.
“The Sunderland workforce has a track record of productivity and efficiency and this has been an integral part of the decision to invest further in Sunderland.”
The plant supplies foam seating to Nissan for Sunderland-built Qashqais. Once the extension is completed, capacity will double to more than 600,000 per year.
Coun Trueman said: “This extension and new business is fantastic news for Lear, the region and employment.
“We have a vibrant automotive supply industry centred on Sunderland and Lear’s decision to extend its Rainton Bridge plant is proof the sector is going from strength to strength.
“The City Council spent 18 months working with Lear to bring the company to the North East back in 2011, and we’re delighted they are confirming their strong commitment to Sunderland with this new investment and job creation.”
The development is being undertaken by Marick Real Estate.
Chief executive Patrick Going said: “It’s great to see the UK automotive sector bouncing back from the recession with key locations such as Sunderland providing the infrastructure to support this growth.”