Work underway after signing of City Deal

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THE detailed planning involved in bringing an advanced manufacturing park and more than 5,000 jobs to Sunderland has been discussed by councillors.

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet yesterday agreed to undertake a number of investigations and design work, as well as acquisition of land and property to accommodate the area north of the Nissan plant.

The area – referred to as the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) – will now be subject to site investigations, the preparation of planning policies and planning applications, traffic modelling and road design.

The decision comes just three days after civic leaders from both Sunderland and South Tyneside put pen to paper to seal the deal on the multimillion-pound City Deal agreement.

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson joined his South Tyneside Council counterpart Iain Malcolm during a signing ceremony attended by cities minister Greg Clark on Monday.

City Deals were launched by the Government in 2011, and two years later Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg invited Sunderland and South Tyneside to bid for the deal. Approved in March this year, the deal, which is set to attract nearly £300million of inward investment, means greater powers to fuel economic growth.

The 100-hectare development – the equivalent of 140 football pitches of new industry and business park –- will house automotive, off-shore and other hi-tech businesses and build on the region’s manufacturing heritage.

“The Cabinet is looking at how we begin works, applications and permissions to accommodate predicted demand for industrial space in the area north of the Sunderland Nissan plant.

Mr Watson said. “This work ranges from site investigations, planning policy and applications, traffic modelling and road design, infrastructure works and land acquisitions.”

The City Deal package also included confirmation of £82.5million of Government funding towards the new Wear bridge as part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor between the Port of Sunderland and the A1. The deal also saw Government backing for city council plans to transform the former Vaux Brewery site into a Central Business District.