£3.8million for Sunderland 5G network and cash to develop site next to Nissan among projects to get slice of £900million 'shovel-ready' projects funding

Sunderland has won £3.8million funding to deliver ambitious 5G and infrastructure work under a £900million Government cash announcement.

Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 6:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 6:33 pm
The vision for Sunderland's Riverside

A total of 21 ‘shovel-ready’ projects have been successful in winning funding to help the North East create jobs and boost businesses as the UK bears up against the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

A total of £900million has been announced by the Government for projects nationwide.

The £3.8million for the “Next Generation Digital Connectivity and Riverside Sunderland Strategic Infrastructure Works" will see the project “deliver 5G and strategic infrastructure works to accelerate the regeneration of Sunderland Riverside and city centre”, according to documents.

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Other Sunderland and Durham projects to get funding are:

Hillthorn Employment Zone Energy Infrastructure works – near Sunderland’s Nissan plant. The project will supply 5MW power to the park to help secure investors and free up additional supply for the nearby International Advanced Manufacturing Park. 

The announcement document states: “Funding will support works to a substation and connection to three plots. This will unlock the development of 35,303 sqm commercial space on Hillthorn Business Park (within the A19 Low Carbon Enterprise Zone).”

Aykley Heads “Durham Plot C” – the document states “This development will kick start the implementation of the masterplan for the strategically important Aykley Heads employment site in Durham City, creating High quality grade A business space (3,512 sqm), adjacent to existing high tech/digitally enabled businesses.”

The 21 successful projects in the North East will receive a share of £64.4million from the £900million Getting Building Fund, which was announced by the Prime Minister in June, to invest in shovel-ready housing and infrastructure projects, creating jobs and supporting economic recovery across the country.

The investment, expected to deliver up to 1,310 homes and create up to 4,460 jobs in the North East, was confirmed on Tuesday August 4 by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

Mr Jenrick said the move is part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to deliver upgrades to local infrastructure and boost skills to help fuel a green economic recovery.

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP said: “We want to build back better to fuel a green economic recovery across the North East by investing in infrastructure, creating jobs and building the homes people need.“That is why we are investing £64.4million in shovel-ready projects in the North East through our £900 million Getting Building Fund. This funding will unlock homes, create new jobs and deliver investment in commercial and green spaces and a much-needed boost to the local economy.”

Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “This Government is determined to ensure the housing market delivers the well-designed, environmentally sustainable homes the people of the North East need.

“This investment will deliver around 4,000 quality new homes in the North East, reaffirming our commitment to uniting and levelling up every part of the country and providing a legacy to future generations of which we can be proud.”

The funding commitments come ahead of a radical overhaul of the planning system due to be announced shortly.

Ministers say the reforms will bring about a simpler, faster, people-focused system to deliver the high-quality, energy efficient homes we need.

As part of the changes, developers will have to contribute fairly to the infrastructure needed to sustain communities, ensure designs keep in with local character and work as part of a new interactive online planning system.

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