THOUSANDS of North-East manufacturing jobs will be created in a City Deal.
The Government has today have backed a bid from Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council.
The deal includes plans for a new business park west of the A19, which is expected to create more than 5,000 posts and secure £295m private sector investment.
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Bosses say the deal has the potential to match the impact of Nissan, which now employs more than 7,000 North-East workers after moving to Wearside in 1986.
The business park, which will be based near Nissan's factory, will provide bases for automotive, offshore and technology firms, bolstering the region's reputation for manufacturing and exports.
The City Deal, which the councils worked on with the North-East Local Enterprise Partnership (Nelep), also includes Government improvements to the A19 and confirmation that £82.5m will go towards the new Wear bridge project.
City Deals aim to give cities and councils greater powers to take responsibility for decisions in their area, decide how public money should be spent and help businesses grow.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said the move would put Sunderland and South Tyneside at the forefront of the advanced manufacturing industry.
He said: “This means thousands of highly skilled jobs in a fast-growing sector of the economy, right here in the heart of the North-East.
“It is as important as Nissan’s move into the region, and will create opportunities now and a legacy for future generations.
“Sunderland and South Tyneside are showing local authorities are ready to come together and create the economic growth the North-East needs.”
The deal will see Sunderland and South Tyneside work together and be supported by the Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland Combined Authority.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This bid recognises the potential for growth in the region’s manufacturing sector.
“The bid's success underlines the importance of solid infrastructure investments for achieving economic growth, and how important Sunderland and South Tyneside are to the region, the UK, and how much more they can offer.
“The people of Sunderland are now going to get something they've wanted for 100 years and have been campaigning about for 50 years.
“This is a major achievement delivered against Government spending cuts.”
The Government invited Sunderland and South Tyneside to submit a City Deal proposal in February last year.
Paul Woolston, Nelep chairman, added: “This is great news for Sunderland, South Tyneside and the wider region.
“The business park will provide the benefits needed to compete globally in a competitive manufacturing environment.”