South Tyneside and Sunderland leaders back plans for new gigafactory near Nissan after application goes in

Leaders of South Tyneside and Sunderland councils have welcomed plans which will pave the way for a £450million development on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), set to create hundreds of jobs.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 5:25 pm

Councillor Tracey Dixon and Councillor Graeme Miller, the leaders of South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council respectively, backed plans for a gigafactory proposed by Envision AESC, the world-leading battery division of global green tech company Envision Group.

If approved, the mammoth facility will take shape on the IAMP site – a joint venture by the two councils which sits along the A19.

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A CGI of how the site could look from the air

It will form part of a £1billion partnership with Nissan UK and Sunderland City Council to create an electric vehicle hub supporting next-generation EV production and accelerating the transition to net zero carbon mobility.

The facility will create 750 green jobs and safeguard 300 jobs from its existing Sunderland plant if approved by the local planning authority, Sunderland City Council.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This is a game-changing development, part of a wider plan that will create green jobs, producing green products, and powering green cars. It’s a statement of this area’s credentials in low carbon and of our commitment to creating a more sustainable economy and we’re delighted to see plans move forward so rapidly after it was first announced.

“We’re focused as a council on attracting investment that will give our communities and our businesses opportunities – that will bolster South Tyneside. This is a huge moment for IAMP, and for the borough which will see huge benefits from this should it go ahead.”

Councillor Graeme Miller

IAMP was brought about by a partnership between South Tyneside and Sunderland councils formed in 2014, and began moving forward in 2018 when enabling works started on the site, which stands just north of Nissan.

Envision AESC would be the third new development on IAMP, which is expected to create some 7,000 jobs when it is fully developed out.

Construction on the Gigafactory – if planning is approved – is due to begin in 2022 to support battery production in 2024, which will pave the way for potential future investment of £1.8bn on the site to generate 35GWh capacity and 4,500 new high value green jobs.

Envision AESC’S existing Sunderland plant has been supplying batteries to Nissan for the LEAF electric vehicle for the last nine years.

A CGI aerial view of the new gigafactory

The new scaled-up gigafactory will produce batteries to power more than 100,000 EVs annually, using new Gen5 battery cells with a third more energy density to improve range, efficiency and exceptional performance, including 100 per cent safety record/zero critical incidents.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Our partnership at IAMP is one that we have always been confident would deliver for our residents, and it did that very quickly with the arrival of SNOP and Faltec in quick succession.

“Envisions plans are a significant step in our journey towards carbon neutrality and our focus in Sunderland on creating a diverse economy where everyone can access high value job opportunities.

"We look forward to working with them as they move forward with their plans, and to ensuring communities in Sunderland and South Tyneside are able to access the opportunities this gigafactory unlocks.”

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