A MULTIMILLION-pound deal that will help create thousands of jobs and cement Sunderland as the UK capital of car manufacturing, becomes a reality on Monday.
Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg announced the £87.5million City Deal for Sunderland and South Tyneside that will include the creation of a new manufacturing park and the building of the long-awaited Wear bridge, in March.
Cities Minister Greg Clark will be joined by Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson, his South Tyneside opposite number Coun Iain Malcolm, and North East Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Paul Woolston at car parts firm Unipres’ Washington plant on Friday for the formal signing.
Members of the city council’s cabinet will discuss the city deal at their meeting next week.
The group will consider a report on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park which is a key element of the agreement.
“The cabinet is looking at how we begin works, applications and permissions to accommodate predicted demand for industrial space in the area north of the Sunderland Nissan plant,” said Coun Watson.
“This work ranges from site investigations, planning policy and applications, traffic modelling and road design, infrastructure works and land acquisitions.
“The City Deal is all about making a step change in advanced manufacturing centred on the automotive sector, significantly increasing opportunities for enterprise and employment in the North East.
“The proposals within the City Deal are extremely significant and are likely to produce a legacy as significant as Nissan’s first investment in Sunderland.”
Up to 100-hectares of land – the equivalent of 140 football pitches – is being earmarked for the park to meet existing and anticipated demand for hi-tech manufacturing units.
The deal has set down how more than 5,000 jobs could be created and £295million of investment attracted to the site.
The City Deal package also includes confirmation of £82.5million of Government funding towards the new Wear bridge as part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor between the Port of Sunderland and the A1, and Government backing for city council plans to transform the former Vaux Brewery site into a Central Business District.