Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller.

A 'clean energy and green manufacturing' investment zone has been welcomed by Sunderland City Council.

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet meeting heard today (Wednesday 31 January) how companies linked to low carbon and hi-tech manufacturing are already considering expansion or re-location plans in the proposed zone.

The zone is focused on and around the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) and Hillthorn Business Park areas to the west of the A19 and north of Nissan.

A joint project between Sunderland and South Tyneside councils, IAMP already has the AESC gigafactory under construction for EV batteries and in November last year Nissan announced major investment plans for its site.

The new merged zone will become the International Advanced Manufacturing Strategic Site (IAMSS) and is part of the wider regional £160m North East Investment Zone (NEIZ) that is expected to create up to 10,000 new jobs. The bigger regional zone includes sites in Blyth, Durham and along the River Tyne corridor.

Cabinet gave its backing to the new investment zone and how it will contribute to region-wide investment in industry-led skills, innovation and research. The Cabinet report: Investment Zone, is linked below.

The zone will have grants and incentives for businesses and is aligned to the region's wider £4.2bn devolution deal and the creation of the North East Mayoral Combined Authority (NEMCA) which will also have oversight of investment zones.

Leader of Sunderland City Council and interim Portfolio Holder for Finance and Investment for the NEMCA, Councillor Graeme Miller said: "Here in Sunderland, we're continuing to work closely with our local, regional, national and international partners on seeing that we are a prime location for hi-tech business investment. We are already recognised as world leading in clean energy and green manufacturing, and creating these investment zones further cements our position as the best place to do business in these sectors.

"Our ongoing City Plan for a more dynamic, healthy and vibrant Sunderland includes themes for more and better jobs alongside the development of a low-carbon economy. Sunderland has growth priorities and commitments it has made to its communities and by creating investment zones we are helping to unlock public money for more upskilling and infrastructure works. These in turn help attract private sector investment, create new jobs and help reduce inequality.

"Discussions are currently ongoing with a number of companies linked to electrification who are interested in locating within the tax site, or expanding their current facilities, and investment zone tax benefits would provide a direct benefit to help unlock such investment. Businesses considering investment linked to the investment zone have also highlighted the importance of investment in skills - including around battery and EV production - in industrial digitisation, and in enabling infrastructure as being key to unlocking further private sector investment at the site.

"The public investment, and private sector investment the investment zones leverage in will have a real positive impact for our residents, now and for many generations to come."

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