PLANS for a second manufacturing base on a major North East development site have been submitted.

A planning application was this week submitted for a 131,891 sq ft building– equivalent to almost two football pitches– on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), on land north of Nissan at Sunderland.

The development will be the second building on the park, which is a joint scheme by Sunderland City Council, South Tyneside Council and Henry Boot Developments, that is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs.

The application was submitted by Howard Russell Construction, the company building French car parts firm SNOP’s plant.

It is not yet known who will occupy the site but the move is a big step forward for the £400m manufacturing park, which was given the green light after the two local authorities agreed a city deal with the Government in 2015.

The proposed building will be constructed in two phases.

Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We have always been very confident in IAMP’s ability to attract significant investment, because it really is a special site.

“IAMP has the potential to totally transform the region’s economy, creating many thousands of jobs for generations to come. Despite being a 15-year programme, momentum is building already, and we are confident that– despite the uncertainty created by Brexit– we can continue to attract investment in this region, in partnership with our colleagues at Sunderland and Henry Boot Developments.”

The building will include a factory and 10,989sq ft of office space. It is classified as a ‘general industrial’ building in the application, which will be considered by Sunderland City Council.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “IAMP will capitalise on the North East’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, and cultivate a diverse base of businesses, spanning aerospace, rail, automation and offshore among others. The unique proposition that IAMP offers gives us a high level of confidence in the contribution it can make to the North East economy and to UK manufacturing at large.

“The scheme offers unrivalled transport links, with direct access to local ports and airports, and boasts an incredible talent pool of skilled workers. To have already attracted such significant interest is testament to this and we look forward to seeing it transform from unused land to the beating heart of the city’s economy.”

Henry Boot Developments, the development partner for the IAMP, said the planning application was a boost for the site, which it believes is putting the region on the map as an advanced manufacturing hub.

Anthony Clitheroe, regional manager at Henry Boot Developments, said: “IAMP is one of the most significant schemes coming out of the ground anywhere in the UK in respect of its scale and its potential impact on the economy. There will be no better location for automotive and advanced manufacturing companies, which is reflected in the interest in IAMP and the conversations taking place with potential occupiers. We look forward to making further announcements as the scheme continues to progress apace.”

The IAMP is being built on 150-hectares and its first tenant will move in this summer. SNOP announced it would be the site’s first occupant at the end of 2018, building a £15m manufacturing facility, investing an additional 15m Euros in new machinery and creating more than 100 new jobs in the process.