Plans for a 5,000-job business park on the border of Sunderland and South Tyneside received a £42million boost today.
The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) - to be created on land just north of the Nissan car plant - aims to create 5,200 jobs by 2027 and will receive the cash as part of £71.6 million Local Growth Funding announced by the Government as part of its Industrial Strategy.
Civic leaders in Sunderland welcomed the cash injection for the joint project, along with their colleagues in South Tyneside.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Coun Paul Watson, said: “We already have one of the biggest and most productive car plants in Europe and we are a centre for electric vehicle research and production.
“We have advanced manufacturing expertise in aerospace and turbo technologies, and we know there's interest and demand for facilities and land for new and expanding companies.
“This is why the IAMP is an important project for Sunderland, South Tyneside, the North East region and the UK economy.
“Following Nissan's recent news, the IAMP is the prime location for the supply chain jobs that will now follow. Sunderland and South Tyneside are working together to ensure that our residents can benefit directly from this major boost for our future wealth and prosperity.”
The proposed IAMP is a 100-hectare plus site - measuring more than 100 football pitches in size - and consultation is already underway.
Conservative councillor Robert Oliver said: “This is excellent news for the Wearside economy and more proof that the Conservative Government supports employment in the city, especially at Nissan.
“When some politicians scaremonger about the future of Nissan they need to take into account the massive support the car plant is continuing to receive.
“The funding will ensure the city has the infrastructure to support the business park and is exactly what Sunderland needs in terms of attracting private sector capital.”