HIGHWAYS plans that pave the way for further development of one of the region’s most significant manufacturing hubs have been submitted for planning approval.

Proposals have been put forward for significant improvements to the A1290, between the site of the former West Moor Farm in Sunderland to the recently improved Downhill Lane/A19 junction in South Tyneside, increasing capacity to support the International Advanced Manufacturing Park, a development spanning a 370-acre area.

A detailed planning application that proposes widening the existing road to allow two lanes of traffic north and southbound will enable ease of movement around the site, which is already home to SNOP, Faltec and a further unit that is currently being marketed following temporary use as a Nightingale Hospital.

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Last year, plans were also unveiled for a gigafactory on IAMP as part of Nissan’s 36Zero EV Hub, which represents a £1bn investment into the region.

The improvements would enhance connections for the existing businesses on IAMP and ensure that appropriate infrastructure is in place to allow more buildings to be developed to the north of the site.

IAMP is being delivered in a partnership between HBD, South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re delighted to be progressing with plans that will enable IAMP to advance further.

“The site is already well-established as a leading destination for advanced manufacturing businesses and these improvements promise to enhance its position and deliver a yet-more attractive site for investors.”

IAMP is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs when it is fully developed. Already, close to 1,000 people are already employed across the site.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “This area has enormous potential and we will do all we can to tap into that."