Freedom of the City ceremony for Nissan workers takes place tonight – after good news on Leaf

Nissan's workforce will be awarded the Freedom of Sunderland this evening
Nissan's workforce will be awarded the Freedom of Sunderland this evening

Thousands of Nissan employees are to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Sunderland this evening.

It comes on the day the car manufacturing giant confirmed the new Lead model will be built in Sunderland after £36million investment.

The firm’s 7,000 North East workers will be represented by 65 members of staff who will attend the ceremony at Sunderland Civic Centre on their behalf.

The accolade, proposed by City Council Leader Paul Watson and approved with cross-party support, recognises the role of Nissan’s workforce in making the Sunderland plant the largest and most successful in the history of UK car production.

Coun Watson said: “Nissan’s phenomenal success in Sunderland would not have been possible without the highly skilled and hard-working people it employs here. The plant’s workforce has been instrumental in building the city’s global reputation and maintaining our proud track record of manufacturing and engineering quality products for the rest of the world.”

Plant boss Kevin Fitzpatrick said: “ I speak for the whole plant when I say how proud we are to receive this honour. For three decades Nissan and the Sunderland have worked hand in hand, creating a leading global automotive centre.”