The news that car giant Nissan is to build two new models at its Sunderland plant has been welcomed by Wearsiders. Earlier this year, Sunderland was one of the first areas to vote leave in the EU referendum, despite concerns and fears among some that Nissan’s continued presence may be jeopardised as a result.
But now Nissan has announced the next Qashqai and X-Trail models will be built at its Wearside plant, which employs 7,000 workers.
As a result, Nissan will increase its investment in Sunderland, securing and sustaining the jobs of not just its own workforce but thousands more in the supply chain.
Sunderland residents have reacted with delight following the news, with some who voted for Brexit saying they felt ‘vindicated’ by the news.
Former Vaux Brewery worker John Murphy, 75, from Astral House in Sunderland, welcomed the news. He said: “It is good news for the city job-wise, as Nissan are a big employer. “It’s terrible these days for young people looking for work, so it is a great thing that Nissan have decided to stay.
“I voted leave in the EU referendum, as I didn’t want the government to receive orders from outside. “I know people had concerns about Nissan leaving as a result, but I think the news today has vindicated my decision to leave.”
Pat and Vic Cole, 73 and 79 respectively, from Houghton, agreed.
Pat said: “I am pleased with the news, as Nissan provide a lot of jobs in the area, so it would be a big loss to see them go, particularly to the young people who need the jobs. “We have lived here for 40 years and we voted out in the referendum because we have lived in a time before the EU and know that we can survive without it. “It is going to take time, but the Nissan announcement has made us feel that our decision has been vindicated.
“It is great news for Sunderland.”
In the remain camp, Michael Shaw, 74, from Murton, was relieved that the company had decided to stay.
He said: “I voted to stay in the referendum as I thought we were better off together, so I was concerned with the vote leave result because I thought it would be 50/50 whether or not Nissan would pull out of the city. “So it is really good news to hear they will be staying in Sunderland.”
Sonia Spence, 58, originally from Hendon but now from South Shields, said she was very happy the company had decided to stay. The former Port of Tyne worker said: “I am very happy that Nissan will be staying. “I was annoyed by people who voted out in the referendum as I was concerned Nissan would pull out, so I am happy that they have decided to stay in. “I think that as a city we have welcomed them into Sunderland and supported them, so it is excellent news.”
Trish Henderson, 66, a retired factory worker from Roker, agreed. She said: “I am really pleased to hear that Nissan will be staying. “I voted to stay in during the referendum, as I think we are better together.”
William Emmerson, 76, from Thorney Close, Sunderland, said: “I am pleased that they are going to stay in Sunderland. “I voted to stay in the EU and thought that the decision to vote leave would kill off businesses in Sunderland, so I am pleased that they are staying as Sunderland would struggle without it.”