Nick Clegg will today sign off a multi-million pound investment package set to see a new era of Nissan business in Sunderland.
The Sunderland and South Tyneside City Deal will see the two councils put in cash to create a new automotive business park backed by some £5m in Government funds.
Although the initial Government contribution is much lower than the £25m first hoped for, more cash could follow, and the Deputy Prime Minister will also promise today to give the final green light to more than £80m for a new bridge over the River Wear.
There is also a promise from the council to kickstart work on the former Vaux brewery site.
Last night Sunderland MP Julie Elliot said the move would be welcomed in the city.
She said: “This is great news for Sunderland. It means that the bridge we have been crying out for will finally get the go-ahead, and jobs that will be created near Nissan will be great news for the city.
“The bridge plans are ready to go, we can start work in the next few months and start making a real difference.”
The advanced manufacturing park is expected to be completed by 2027, creating 5,200 new manufacturing jobs, with more than 500 new jobs being created every year from 2018.
A further 3,700 jobs will be created by 2031 as part of plans for the Vaux site.
In a downgrading from the original plan, Treasury officials blocked a bid to use tax revenue from the business park to regenerate parts of the city centre.
Sunderland Council leader Paul Watson said: “The people of Sunderland are now going to get something they have wanted for 100 years and have been campaigning about for 50 years, thanks to the work of officers and this council.
“This is a major achievement that has been delivered against the odds as central Government has been cutting its spending.”
South Tyneside leader Iain Malcolm said: “This is as strategically important as Nissan’s move into the region 30 years ago, and will create opportunities now and a legacy for future generations.”
Mr Clegg will today visit the Nissan plant in Sunderland to see how the City Deal will boost the region’s economic growth.
He said: “This City Deal builds on the success of Sunderland’s car industry and is a tribute to the workers in the region who are exporting models right across Europe.
“It will build on that success with an advanced manufacturing park to boost the local supply chain, attract further investment and revitalise local businesses and craftsmen, harnessing local skills for many years to come.”
Cabinet office officials say the City Deal, agreed with the key help of cities minister Greg Clark, will bring in an extra £295m in private sector investment in the advanced manufacturing industry.
Lord Shipley, the former Newcastle Council leader now advising Mr Clark on city growth, said: “I welcome this announcement, which is the product of much work and negotiation.
“The Government is committed to rebalancing the economy away from over-dependence on the South East.
“This decision will drive investment, growth and jobs on Wearside. It is good news.”
Extra cash to add to the £5m is expected to come from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, possibly as much as £40m, alongside council cash contributions.
The new International Advanced Manufacturing Park to the west of the A19 and across the borders of Sunderland and South Tyneside will be built on land the equivalent of 140 football pitches. It will consist of a new industry and business park and house automotive, off-shore and other hi-tech businesses.