Sunderland’s economic future in a ‘much stronger position than we could have imagined’

Coun Bryan Charlton.

Coun Bryan Charlton.

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THE future is looking bright for business in Wearside, according to city councillors.

Despite the tough economic climate, thousands of jobs are heading to Sunderland.

A council meeting at Sunderland Civic Centre was told of employment success stories on Wearside.

Councillor Bryan Charlton, portfolio for prosperous city, said: “Sunderland is now in a much stronger position than we could have imagined just a couple of years ago, when the global economic downturn struck. With a number of inquiries in the pipeline, I look forward to seeing further major announcements during the coming months.”

Coun Charlton said: “The manufacturing industry is continuing to perform well in Sunderland, helping to create jobs and reduce unemployment,

“Nissan is back to pre-recession levels, with 5,000 jobs, while key suppliers in the city such as Calsonic and Vantec employ another 4,000 people.”

The meeting was reminded that Nissan’s electric vehicle programme is bringing 350 new jobs and £420million of capital investment, while a Regional Growth Fund has been secured to support large-scale investment that will result in 1,000 extra jobs.

Coun Charlton added: “Another recipient of Regional Growth Fund is Connor Solutions, which is an electronics manufacturer based at Rainton Bridge. The company is set to double the size of its plant by adding 38,000sqft of new floor space and recruiting an additional 90 people over the next three years, adding to its current workforce of 150.”

Meanwhile, Walker Filtration, of Washington, is moving into the former Reed Print building on Wear Industrial Estate and doubling its annual turnover to £45million.

The contact centre industry continues to be a robust area of employment in the city with 2Touch recently announcing that it anticipated adding 300 jobs at its Doxford Park centre over the next three years. It has already increased its work force from 700 to 1,000 over the past two years.

Legal services company, UK Independent Medical Services, is relocating from Durham to Rainton Bridge Business Park, creating 80 jobs in the process.

On software, Coun Charlton said: “There have been further successes in encouraging software businesses to set up and expand in the city, creating high quality jobs for software professionals.

“For example, Datawright Computer Services Ltd of Washington is currently expanding its operation through accessing global markets.”

Another software business that is expanding is Digital Spark, which has recently moved into the Evolve Business Centre at Rainton Bridge.

And brand solutions agency, Surreal Creative, also based at Rainton Bridge, has announced that it has won a £1million contract from a Portuguese decor company.

Twitter: @SunechoKaty