The leaders of Sunderland and South Tyneside councils have hailed the signing of a City Deal as being as important as Nissan’s arrival in the city 30 years ago.
Sunderland Council leader Paul Watson, along with his South Tyneside counterpart Iain Malcolm, officially signed on Monday a City Deal with the Government which could bring more than 5,000 jobs and nearly £300m of investment to the area.
The deal will see the development of an International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), and has put more than £80m towards the building of a new bridge over the River Wear.
Cllr Watson said: “We’ve worked long and hard to get it with the Government. We’ve been in some deep negotiations with them. But it really shows how Sunderland and South Tyneside has worked together and made a sea-change.”
He added: “Some people are saying the IAMP could do for our area what the advent of Nissan did. It could be massive.”
The area was awarded City Deal status in March after a year-long bidding process.
It’s one of 20 cities to have applied for the status, following a first wave of bids in 2012.
Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside council said: “I have to say that I think this is such a momentous decision that it is on par with the decision by Nissan to come to Wearside.”
He added: “For me on South Tyneside, I now need to make sure we’ve got the proper transport connectivity so that the people on South Tyneside are able to physically get to the site.”
The New Wear Crossing is could be opened by 2017, with the manufacturing park to be opened by 2018 and fully completed by 2027.#####