DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the City Deal between South Tyneside and Sunderland will build on the success of Nissan and “is a tribute to the workers in the region who are exporting models right across Europe”.
He added: “It will build on that success with an advanced manufacturing park to boost the local supply chain, attract further investment and revitalise local businesses and craftsmen, harnessing local skills for many years to come.
“The deal builds the foundations for long-term growth for this generation and the next, building a stronger economy and doing it fairly. We need to fast forward from now and imagine how things feel when we have the benefits of this manufacturing park, the new bridge and international investment.
“There will be a lot of opportunities provided for young people. They won’t need to go elsewhere to find work. It will be on their doorstep.
“What we are doing here is designed to close the North/South divide. The North should not have to go to Whitehall with a begging bowl.”
Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This relationship between Sunderland and South Tyneside is a special one because of the economic importance of the A19.
“Our deal is reflecting broader North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) priorities, the Government’s priorities and recognises the close relationship between Sunderland and South Tyneside.
“This ambitious and successful bid recognises the potential for growth in the region’s manufacturing sector.
“The success of this bid underlines the importance of solid infrastructure investments for achieving economic growth, and how important Sunderland and South Tyneside are to the region, the UK, and how much more they can offer.
“We’ve worked very closely with businesses and the Government on drawing up the deal and all its detail.”
The City Deal will also provide £82.5m funding that finally gives the green light to the long-awaited new road bridge over the Wear – due to be completed by November 2017 – and a new a new central business district on the Vaux site aimed at injecting new life into Sunderland city centre.