Work that will prepare the ground for future phases of a huge manufacturing hub is now underway after a North East construction firm was appointed.
Henry Boot Developments (HBD) on behalf of International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) LLP has awarded a contract for infrastructure works for its 150-hectare manufacturing park to North East headquartered Esh Civils, a delivery arm of Esh Construction.
The contract will see design, construction and installation of the infrastructure required to support the first phase of development of the IAMP and involves the delivery of highways, drainage, utilities, landscaping and environmental mitigation work.
The works will be managed by HBD on behalf of IAMP LLP and is expected to take around 12 months to deliver.
It will pave the way for further building on site, after it was announced that the first unit had been snapped up by French headquartered SNOP.
The International Advanced Manufacturing Park, a partnership between South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council, with HBD as development partner, will see scores of manufacturing facilities being built on the site - situated just north of the Nissan car plant - over the coming years, between them creating more than 7,000 jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.
Tom Wheldon, regional manager at HBD, said: “It’s great to see work continuing to progress quickly at IAMP, with Esh now on board - this is a scheme that will bring enormous benefit to both the local area and the wider Northern regions, attracting world-class automotive and advanced manufacturing businesses.
"It’s a fantastic proposition for companies across a range of sectors, combining access to over 45 MVA of power, well maintained infrastructure and high-quality build within a unique environment that can’t be found anywhere else in the country.”
Leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Iain Malcolm, said: "In the long-term, IAMP is a development that will deliver thousands of jobs for local people, generating wealth and benefitting the local economy.
"What is fantastic is that, with the appointment of Esh, we will see local jobs being supported by this project, and a business that was born and has grown in the North East can reap some of the benefits of this groundbreaking scheme."
The project – worth £6.7million – will also allow Esh Civils to continue to invest in its successful apprenticeship programme which has already seen more than 250 local people pass through training and secure long-term employment with the firm.
Steven Conn, divisional director at Esh Civils, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the first phase of the IAMP infrastructure development, working with Henry Boot Developments to deliver the joint local authority project to attract local employment.
"The award follows two previous schemes successfully completed to improve the access to Nissan and surrounding development plots for Sunderland City Council.”
Sunderland City Council leader, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: "IAMP has the potential to create jobs and support the employment of generations of people from our respective areas, so this is a scheme that will deliver for this region in the long-term.
"With Esh on board, the opportunities created by IAMP for local people start now - it is delivering a real, tangible impact now, before it has opened.
"And as Esh complete its programme of work, the company is laying the foundations for thousands of opportunities that will transform the lives of local people. We're delighted they are on board."
IAMP has been designated a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ by the UK Government, which has pledged £42million through the North East LEP towards infrastructure including new roads, bridges and environmental enhancements to support the development.