JAPANESE car maker Nissan is to build its new family hatchback in the North-East from 2014 – creating more than 1,000 jobs.

The move is the latest coup for the firm’s plant in Sunderland and will be confirmed by Prime Minister David Cameron today during a visit to Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.

Production of the new model will see the Sunderland plant begin operating both production lines round-the-clock for the first time in its 26-year history.

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Mr Cameron said: ‘‘It is fantastic news that Nissan will be building its new hatchback model in the UK and that it expects to create more than 1,000 jobs at the Sunderland plant and in the supply chain across the country.

“It’s proof of the strength and vitality of the British manufacturing industry that leading companies like Nissan are expanding their production in the UK.

‘‘Nissan’s investment in the UK is a huge vote of confidence in the skills and flexibility of the UK workforce.”

The new model, which will be named closer to its sales launch, will create an additional 225 jobs at Nissan Sunderland and about 900 at supplier companies, most of them in the North-East.

It will be a rival for the likes of Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

Today’s announcement follows news revealed at last month’s Geneva Motor Show that Sunderland will produce a compact car from next year, provisionally named the Nissan Invitation, creating 400 direct jobs.

Once recruitment is complete, a record 6,225 workers will be employed at the plant, manufacturing more than half a million vehicles a year, including the Qashqai, Juke and all-electric Leaf models.

The deal to produce the new hatchback is backed by a £127m cash injection by the car maker and a pledge of £8.2m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Nissan chief operating officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, who made the announcement with Mr Cameron, said: “In Europe, Nissan has achieved record growth in recent years by providing innovative, customer-focused models, such as Qashqai and Juke, that are designed, developed and produced within the region.

‘‘Nissan already produces more vehicles in Europe than any other Asian manufacturer and the model announced today will bring world-class quality and leading technology to customers at the heart of the European C-segment.

‘‘I would also like to thank the UK Government for its strong and sustained support which allows us to continue making significant, long-term investment in our Sunderland operation.’’ About 80,000 of the new hatchbacks will be built annually, triggering the need for the Sunderland plant to add a shift.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan vicepresident for manufacturing in the UK, said: “This new model takes investment in the UK in recent years to £921m and production and employment to record highs, so we are extremely grateful for the company’s show of confidence in our plant.”