A NEW multi-million pound business deal announced today will create thousands of jobs for South Tyneside’s young generation, town hall bosses have said.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg confirmed an £87.5m City Deal package between South Tyneside and Sunderland, which includes manufacturing park being built on land west of the A19 that straddles the two authorities.
Coun Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, described the news as being “as important as Nissan’s move into the region 30 years ago”.
Mr Clegg was at the car giant’s North East plant to mark the occasion and outline the full plans.
The Government is investing £5m in the development of an International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) on land north of Nissan, next to the Testo’s roundabout, split between West Boldon and Sunderland. It is expected to be completed by 2027, creating 5,200 new manufacturing jobs, with more than 500 new jobs being created every year from 2018. A further 3,700 jobs will be created by 2031.
The 100-hectare IAMP development – which is the equivalent of 140 football pitches and is predicted to attract £295m in private sector investment – could house automotive, off-shore and other hi-tech businesses and aims to build on the region’s track record for manufacturing and exports.
Coun Malcolm pledged to ensure that South Tynesiders would get access to the jobs which will be up for grabs.
He said: “No one should under-estimate the significance of this announcement. The creation of an international advanced manufacturing park is at the core of the economic strategy for job creation in South Tyneside.
“The first phase of the business park is to be centred on the new emerging renewable sector, and will see the creation of 5,000 highly-skilled jobs with the development on the site of anything up to 15,000 jobs in the long term.
“We need to make sure that the people of South Tyneside, still blighted by significant unemployment levels, get access to these jobs. That includes children now still at school, as this development will not happen overnight
“Key to this is getting the transport connectivity right so that the people of Jarrow and Hebburn and South Shields will have good access to the site in future.”
Both South Tyneside and Sunderland Councils will invest £15m each in the park – money that will need to be borrowed.
Coun Malcolm added: “Whatever we borrow we will get back with interest, and we will be able to collect the business rates from the park.”
The majority of the funding for the park – £40m – will come from the Local Enterprise Partnership. (LEP)
Compulsory purchase powers may need to be invoked to assure the the development goes ahead.
And planning permission will be sought from both South Tyneside and Sunderland planning committees before any work goes ahead.
Investment in the park – something that large local employers such as Nissan, Rolls-Royce, TRW Automotive, Siemens, Liebherr and BAE have all been crying out for – will help to expand the auto-related manufacturing industry around Nissan.
But Coun Malcolm emphasised the park will be “much more than just a feeder for Nissan”, adding: “This is a vote of confidence from the Government in both South Tyneside and Sunderland”.
He added: “It’s excellent news for the region and will place South Tyneside and Sunderland at the forefront of advanced manufacturing industry. Today’s announcement will mean thousands of highly skilled jobs in a fast-growing sector of the economy, right here in the heart of the North East.
“This is as strategically important as Nissan’s move into the region 30 years ago, and will create opportunities now and a legacy for future generations.
“South Tyneside and Sunderland are showing that local authorities are ready to come together and create the economic growth the North East needs.
“I’m delighted that the Government has recognised the area’s strong skills base and huge potential for development.”