AMAZON will move into a brand new warehouse in the North-East later this year, The Northern Echo can today exclusively reveal.

The site at the Follingsby Max industrial estate in Gateshead is expected to see around 1,000 permanent full and part-time jobs created.

For the past fourteen months, speculation on who will move into the huge warehouse has mounted as Amazon has refused to confirm the site.

Although distinctive in its appearance, details of the mystery building dubbed 'NCL1' have been kept under wraps while work has continued.

Read more: Pictures reveal progress on 'Amazon' site at Follingsby Max in Gateshead

But confirming it to The Northern Echo today, Amazon said it was "pleased" to be opening what will be its third 'Fulfilment Centre' in the region.

The Northern Echo:

The new 'NCL1' warehouse is nearing completion at the site in Gateshead Picture: JIM SCOTT

It comes as Amazon opened Fulfilment Centres at Darlington's Symmetry Park and Bowburn's Integra 61 industrial estate, near Durham, last year.

Read more: Amazon to open Durham warehouse with 1,000 permanent jobs

Read more: Amazon's first warehouse in the North-East opens in Darlington

Confirming the Gateshead warehouse, which has been named after its nearest airport - Newcastle, a spokesperson said work was progressing well.

They said: "We are pleased to confirm a new fulfilment centre in Gateshead that will help us continue to serve customer demand in the local area and across the UK.

"Although still in the early days, we are progressing well with the project and expect to launch our building later this year."

It's understood that the retailer has already started recruiting internally, offering staff working at its Durham and Darlington Fulfilment centres the opportunity to transfer.

The Northern Echo:

A delivery station named 'DNE2' has been built right next to the new Fulfilment Centre Picture: JIM SCOTT

Next door to the new warehouse, a brand new delivery station owned by Amazon has been built and is expected to open by Summer.

The smaller centre, which will see parcels arrive from neighbouring fulfilment centres, will "speed up deliveries" for the immediate area.

That is expected to see dozens of new jobs created, in addition to hundreds of driver opportunities for its Amazon Logistics and Amazon Flex delivery services.

Kerry-Anne Lawlor, Country Director for Amazon Logistics, said: “We are excited to invest in the Gateshead area with a new delivery station that will provide efficient delivery for customers, and create new jobs for the talented workforce.”

The Northern Echo:

The main Fulfilment Centre is yet to see signs, but the delivery station has been badged up Picture: JIM SCOTT

Last night, confirmation of the Gateshead site was described as another boost of confidence for the region.

Jonathan Walker, director of policy at the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “This announcement is a further endorsement of the region’s status as a great place in which to do business and builds on the strong commitment Amazon has already made to the North-East.

"After such a difficult economic period we’re really pleased to see jobs being created that will provide opportunities to people in Gateshead and beyond”.

And in yet another sign that Amazon is eyeing up the North-East, today's confirmation of the warehouse follows similar talk of a site on Teesside several months ago.

The Northern Echo:

Amazon Darlington while it was being constructed in 2019 Picture: JIM SCOTT

In November last year, The Echo revealed that a warehouse understood to be similar size to Amazon Darlington is set to be built in Wynyard, near Stockton.

Read more: Major 'Amazon-sized' warehouse could be coming to Teesside by 2022

At the time of plans being submitted to Stockton Borough Council, it was reported that the site was expected to become operational in September 2022.

But last month, the retailer was forced to defend itself after a whistleblowing hotline for Amazon workers was set up by Unite the Union.

Refuting claims made by the union at the time, Amazon said it offers workers "excellent pay", benefits and opportunities.

Read more: Whistleblowing hotline set up for Amazon workers in Durham and Darlington

Amazon said that it expects to launch its recruitment drive for the Gateshead site in the next few weeks.