BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable visited Wearside to see work start on the city’s new Rolls Royce factory.
The manufacturing facility at the Radial Business Park, Washington, will make more than 2,000 fan and turbine discs a year for use in the aerospace industry.
The new factory will replace the existing plant at Pallion in Sunderland, which employs about 450 people.
Production at the new plant is expected to begin in late 2013.
Dr Cable said: “The new Rolls Royce advanced aerospace disc manufacturing plant will further strengthen the UK’s position as an aerospace leader, and underpins the company’s ongoing commitment to the North East and its workforce.”