sccJOB creation and investment plans in Sunderland and South Tyneside have received a boost with new Enterprise Zone status.

The new zoning is for the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) that is being planned on land to the north of the Nissan plant and for land at Port of Sunderland.

Confirmation of the new status came as part of a wider Government announcement on 18 new Enterprise Zones and extending 8 zones (

The IAMP is a joint venture between South Tyneside and Sunderland and it plans to create more than 5,200 new jobs and attract £300m of investment.

At Port of Sunderland, the zoning is to help attract investment and firms that can also benefit from its recently re-instated rail link.

Councillor Paul Watson, the Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “The North East is at the forefront of the UK’s manufacturing and automotive sector. We have a balance of trade surplus and we are a major contributor to UK plc. We have the potential to raise these contributions which is why we are creating the IAMP. Plus, there is great potential to develop more land and attract more business at Port of Sunderland.

“The new Enterprise Zone status is a welcome boost and a welcome recognition from Government of the partnership between Sunderland and South Tyneside. The IMAP can play a key part in this region’s economic growth and in the country’s economic growth. It is a project of major national significance.

“Port of Sunderland, too, is growing and there is room and the potential for it to play a greater role regionally and nationally.”

A round of public consultation on possible sites for the IAMP is getting underway. The IAMP is part of the Sunderland and South Tyneside City Deal that was confirmed last year and it has been recognised in planning terms as ‘nationally significant’.

Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We know that there is huge potential for manufacturing jobs in our region and strong interest in land for advanced manufacturing.

“We are keen to move forward at pace to make our plans for the IAMP a reality so that we can secure jobs and opportunities for people across the region.

“This news, as well as the confirmation of an Enterprise Zone site at Holborn will help the Borough attract national and internationally renowned businesses to further boost the economic growth that the North East needs. The park is expected to create more than 5,000 highly skilled jobs in the first phase, and build on our track record for manufacturing and exports.”

The IAMP development – the equivalent of 140 football pitches of new industry and business park – would house automotive, off-shore and other hi-tech businesses. It would build on the North East region’s track record for manufacturing and exports.

Port of Sunderland was re-connected to the rail network earlier this year (5 February 2015) after investment from Network Rail. See:

Enterprise Zones can help attract commercial investors because they offer incentives such as capital allowances and discounts on business rates.

Matthew Hunt, Director of Port of Sunderland, said: “We have many significant commercial advantages with our estate, our facilities, our access to the country’s road network, and our updated link into the rail network. Ports have always played a major role in how the UK trades and Port of Sunderland is no exception. This new zone status can help unlock more of our export and import potential.”

Earlier last week, Mr Hunt outlined how 2015 had been a good year for Port of Sunderland.

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