THE creation of 5,000 jobs at a new hi-tech manufacturing park on South Tyneside and Sunderland’s border is moving a step closer to reality, senior borough councillors will be told next week.
A Government-backed £87.5m ‘City Deal’ between the two local authorities includes plans to develop an International Advanced Manufacturing Park on land north of the current Nissan site and south of the A184, incorporating areas of West Boldon.
The aim is to create more than 5,000 hi-tech manufacturing jobs.
The massive deal was sealed at a signing ceremony last month attended by Cities Minister Greg Clark, the leader of South Tyneside Council, Coun Iain Malcolm, and Sunderland City Council boss, Coun Paul Watson.
Now work has begun to acquire the areas of land needed to make the vision a reality.
And due to the large number of land interests involved, the local authority may need to utilise its power of compulsory purchase at some stage.
A report on the plans is to be considered by South Tyneside Council’s decision-making cabinet next week.
In the report, David Cramond, the council’s corporate director of economic regeneration, says: “Consultation with the landowners has commenced. The council is authorised to acquire land by agreement under powers contained in the Local Government Act. Due to the number of interests to be acquired, it is possible that compulsory powers will need to be used.
“Working across Sunderland and South Tyneside’s border, the manufacturing park will create an additional 5,200 new jobs by 2026/27, with more than 500 being created every year from 2018.
“The park will expand upon the existing North East automotive manufacturing hub to enable a sea change in South Tyneside and Sunderland’s economic growth and continue the strong local track record of high quality, adaptable manufacturing.”
An ecology survey across the park site has been commissioned and recommendations from that will be taken into consideration.
City Deals are designed to give local authorities more freedom to promote localised growth, and the deal will see Sunderland and South Tyneside working with the new North East Combined Authority.