Council bosses have backed plans for a new research centre at a planned £41m business park next to the Nissan plant.
Sunderland City Council’s (SCC) cabinet gave the green light to an ‘early design’ for the proposal at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) on Wednesday (January 9).
The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CESAM) is a joint project between the North East Automotive Alliance, industry figures and universities.
SCC leader Coun Graeme Miller said: “Work is already underway for Phase One of this major development and last month there was an announcement from car parts manufacturer SNOP UK about its state-of-the-art-factory.
“There are other exciting projects being worked up including a possible Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CESAM).
“The early design programme for a proposed CESAM, that could house research and development facilities, has been examined and backed by the City Council’s Cabinet.”
The cabinet meeting which approved the ‘preliminary work’ plans was held in private and no further details are currently available.
The IAMP is a joint project between SCC and South Tyneside Council (STC) and builders began work on the 150-hectare site north of the Nissan plant, off the A19, in August.
Over the next 10 – 15 years the 150-hectare site north of the Nissan plant, off the A19, is expected to bring in about £400m of private sector investment and more than 7,000 jobs.
A government City Deal in 2015 attracted investment worth £41m for the site through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) £270m Local Growth Fund for infrastructure, including new roads, bridges and other environmental enhancements.
This week, STC leader Coun Iain Malcolm said he was ‘confident’ the Metro could be extended to the site within 10 years.
The claim was backed by Coun Miller, who said it could ‘easily’ be achieved.
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service