New Amazon base at Follingsby 'would not compete with IAMP', say council chiefs amid reports of online giant's enterprise park buy-up

Council chiefs have said they do not expect to find themselves in competition with online shopping giant Amazon.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 12:01 pm

The retailer is believed to be planning a major new development in Tyneside which could bring more than 1,000 jobs, following reports it has acquired the Follingsby International Enterprise Park, just over the border in Gateshead.

The move had prompted speculation over the future of the IAMP site, a planned £400million manufacturing park just north of Washington’s Nissan car plant.

But business leaders in Wearside are confident the news is nothing to worry about and is unlikely to go up directly against anything they are working on.

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File picture from part of one of Britain's largest Amazon warehouses in Dunfermline. Picture by Jane Barlow/PA Wire

“Follingsby Park’s destiny is to be a distribution centre, now sold entirely to Amazon,” said Peter McIntyre, Sunderland City Council’s executive director of city development.

“It wouldn’t be a competitor to this type of product [IAMP], in Sunderland we’re not seeing that type of investment.

“In IAMP we’re not building distribution warehouses like Follingsby Park are.”

McIntyre was speaking to the council’s Economic Prosperity Scrutiny Committee.

Reports have suggested thousands of jobs could be created at the Follingsby site by Amazon as it seeks to take advantage of plans for so-called ‘free ports’ in the North East.

Work is underway on the IAMP, which stands for International Advanced Manufacturing Park, a joint partnership between Sunderland and South Tyneside councils.

Over the next 10 – 15 years it is expected to see dozens of manufacturers set up shop, many linked to Nissan’s supply chain, creating more than 7,000 jobs.