A DEVELOPER has submitted a planning application to begin work on the first phase of a 5,000-job manufacturing park.

Henry Boot Developments says it hopes to start on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) later this year, with potential tenants already identified.

The hub is a joint venture between Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council, with Henry Boot Developments appointed as delivery partner.

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Bosses say the park, based next to Nissan’s bustling Sunderland plant, will create more than 5,000 jobs and at least £400m of private sector investment.

It has been designed to provide a base for the car maker’s supply chain as it ramps up production of new Qashqai and X-Trail models in the region.

According to the plans, IAMP’s first phase will cover 150 acres and deliver 1,687,000sq ft of industrial space.

Vivienne Clements, director at Henry Boot Developments, said: “IAMP is a hugely important site for the North-East and the UK’s wider automotive and advanced manufacturing economy.

“We are focused on the delivery of IAMP and are working closely with both councils to bring the scheme forward, aiming to be on site during the second half of 2018.

“Early conversations have been incredibly positive - potential occupiers have been identified and discussions are continuing.”

However, earlier this week it was revealed investors behind their own 1,300-job blueprint for IAMP are looking into legal action against the councils’ development plans.

The Town End Farm Partnership says it could challenge the authorities’ vision.

It wants to build the Wear Point 55 industrial hub next to Nissan’s factory but saw its plans previously turned down by council bosses for being “premature”.

However, Town End officials say the authorities and its partners risk wasting millions of pounds of investment and undermining the IAMP’s wider, long-term future by failing to meet a critical land procurement deadline.

Peter Razaq, Town End director, said suppliers will need to be on site by 2019 to ready themselves for Nissan’s anticipated 2020 roll-out of its new models, which he said only his organisation’s plans can realistically achieve.