A new £90million-plus business park on the border of Sunderland and South Tyneside has moved a step closer
Plans for infrastructure work around the £91.9 million International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) on land near Nissan have now been submitted to Whitehall.
The IAMP Area Action Plan (AAP) was submitted by the two local authorities to the Secretary of State on Monday. The AAP will allocate the site for the development of the park and establish the policies against which the planning proposals for the scheme will be assessed.
The AAP, which will be valid for 15 years, has been submitted after consultations with local people in 2015 and 2016. It will now be examined in public, with hearing sessions planned for early spring.
The plans must be signed off as 'sound' by Government planning inspectors before the land can be removed from the Greenbelt.
The AAP includes the policy framework to deliver the development of the site, from new buildings for suppliers, to roads, drainage and a small retail area for local shops.
Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson, said: "It is a huge achievement for Sunderland and South Tyneside to get to this stage.
"This is a massively important project for the region, with the IAMP predicted to create 5,200 jobs and bring in more than £300million of private sector investment over the next ten years.
"The submission of the AAP is the first step in turning these exciting plans into a reality.”
Leader of South Tyneside Council, Coun Iain Malcolm, said: "It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this stage. We are hopeful the authorities will look favourably on our plans, and we will be able to press ahead with what is a fantastic, ambitious proposal for the IAMP.
"This will really secure South Tyneside and Sunderland’s place on the automotive and advanced manufacturing map."
IAMP, close to Nissan, the A19 and A184, is a 'nationally significant infrastructure project' covering 100 hectares - equivalent to 140 football pitches - for automotive, advanced manufacturing and other hi-tech businesses expanding or relocating to the North East. It is close to the region’s automotive hub and its supply chain businesses.
Proposals for the new business park include 260,000 square metres of business space on the 100-hectare site.
The project has secured £42million in Government funding through the Local Growth Fund, which will help contribute towards the infrastructure works outlined in the AAP. More than £300million of private sector investment is also expected to be pumped into the site over the next decade.
First put forward in 2014, the IAMP is a key part of the Sunderland City Deal in partnership with Sunderland and South Tyneside and has the support of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Coun Watson added: "With the industries, high quality jobs and investment the IAMP will attract, it will be a game-changer for our current and future workforce.
"The IAMP is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform not only the Sunderland and South Tyneside economies, but the economic health of the North East region."