Investment zone brings £160m and 4,000 new jobs to the North East

An Investment Zone for the North East will see £160m from government and unlock hundreds of millions of pounds of investment from the private sector.

The zone will be targeted at Advanced Manufacturing and Green Industries – reflecting the region’s long-standing sectoral strengths and increasing prominence as an international hub for clean energy.

The North East is already a world leader in automotive and advanced manufacturing, electric vehicle production, battery manufacturing, the offshore wind sector and advanced low-carbon materials.

Aligned to the Arc of Innovation – running from Northumberland down to Sunderland and Durham, with opportunities along the Tyne Corridor – the North East Investment Zone will bring benefits to businesses and local communities across the whole region.

These sites will benefit from a mix of tax incentives and upfront infrastructure investment, while the Investment Zone will support region-wide investment in skills and innovation.

The news comes as Nissan restated its commitment to the North East with plans to build three electric car models at its Sunderland plant. The announcement also follows on from local leaders giving the final approval to form a new mayoral combined authority following a £4.2bn devolution deal.

An election for a new Mayor for the North East will take place in May next year across the local authority areas of Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The transition to a new mayoral combined authority is being led by the leaders of the seven councils involved with Dame Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, chairing a steering group that is leading the creation of the new authority.

Dame Norma said, “I am incredibly proud of our region’s rich industrial heritage and the positive steps we are taking together to be world leaders in clean energy and green manufacturing. This will secure jobs now and create positive opportunities for future generations.

“This announcement will be a real boost to the region, creating even more skilled jobs and helping us collectively grow a bigger and better economy. Communities across the whole region will benefit from this announcement which will contribute significantly to our devolution plans to create good jobs and help reduce inequality.”

Cllr Graeme Miller, Interim portfolio holder for Finance and Investment for the new Combined Authority and Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “This is a great day for the North East with not only fantastic news from Nissan, but also the announcement of our Investment Zone which will be focused on Advanced Manufacturing and Green Industries.

“As well as creating skilled jobs in these key sectors, there will be a significant knock-on benefit of jobs across supply chains and in construction, which we believe will act as a catalyst for further private sector investment and opportunities across our communities.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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