Council and business leaders have welcomed the green light being shown to a development which could transform the North East economy.
The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), which spans land in Sunderland and South Tyneside, will become a destination for not only Nissan’s supply chain, but scores of advanced manufacturing businesses.
Yesterday, Sunderland City Council approved a planning application which will see 61 hectares of the site - north of Nissan – developed, delivering 1.6million sq ft of advanced manufacturing space.
The second phase will provide an additional 3million sq ft, creating a scheme of nationally-significant size and scale.
Coun Graeme Miller, the newly-appointed leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The IAMP is one of the most significant developments that the region has seen in decades.
“Thousands of people will be employed by businesses that will be located on this world-leading advanced manufacturing park, and it will be truly transformational for the city, the wider region and the national economy.
"We are delighted that planning has been approved for the first phase of this development, and look forward to delivering a location that will act as a magnet for inward investment, keen to tap into the opportunities in Sunderland and South Tyneside.”
Plans for the IAMP emerged after Sunderland and South Tyneside local authorities signed a city deal agreement with the Government in 2015.
The ambition of the site is to create a locally-based supply chain for OEM, Nissan, as well as building on the area’s strengths in advanced manufacturing.
Coun Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This part of the world has a well-deserved reputation as a leading place for manufacturing and engineering, and the IAMP will build on that, creating an unrivalled location for businesses in this sector.
“We are delighted that our vision for IAMP is moving a step closer to reality, and look forward to working with our partners at Sunderland City Council, along with our development partner Henry Boot Developments and also with the North East LEP to deliver a site that will transform the regional economy.”
It is expected that over the next 10 to 15 years, IAMP will support more than £400m of private sector investment, creating at least 7,000 jobs.
It has already been designated a ‘Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project’ by the government, which has provided £42million through the North East LEP towards infrastructure, including new roads, bridges and environmental enhancements to support the development.
Helen Golightly, executive director at the North East LEP, said: “This is welcome news and we can now look forward to advance infrastructure works starting over the summer to create the next phase of industrial development that will further consolidate the position of the North East as a major national and European hub for automotive and advanced engineering.
“This news comes on the back of the Government decision last year to support the North East’s LEP plans for an Enterprise Zone on IAMP to help further stimulate and support private sector investment.
"We look forward to working with the IAMP delivery team and to welcoming new businesses to the site in the not-too-distant future.”
Vivienne Clements, director at Henry Boot Developments, said: “IAMP is what the Northern Powerhouse is all about - it offers an unprecedented opportunity to put the industrial strategy into practice and supercharge the North East’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, allowing businesses to benefit from port connections, an incredible skills base and a productive workforce.
“IAMP will bring millions of pounds of investment into the area - hugely positive in both economic and regeneration terms.”