PLANS for the second manufacturing base on one of the region's most significant development sites have been submitted this week.
A planning application has been submitted for a 131,891 sq ft building - equivalent to almost two football pitches - on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), on land north of Nissan.
The development will be the second building on the park, a game-changing scheme being delivered in partnership by Sunderland City Council, South Tyneside Council and Henry Boot Developments, that is expected to create more than 7,000 jobs.
The application was submitted by Howard Russell Construction, the company currently on-site building SNOP's plant. It is not yet known who will occupy the site but is another significant step forward for the £400m manufacturing park, which was given the green light after the two local authorities agreed a city deal with the Government in 2015. The proposed building will be constructed in two phases.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "We have always been very confident in IAMP's ability to attract significant investment, because it really is a special site.
"IAMP has the potential to totally transform the region's economy, creating many thousands of jobs for generations to come. Despite being a 15-year programme, momentum is building already, and we are confident that - despite the uncertainty created by Brexit - we can continue to attract investment in this region, in partnership with our colleagues at Sunderland and Henry Boot Developments."
The building will include a factory as well as a 10,989 sq ft office space, which will stand on 'plot 4' of the park, which covers 15.57 acres. It is classified as a 'General Industrial' building in the planning application, which will be considered by Sunderland City Council.
Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "IAMP will capitalise on the North East's strengths in advanced manufacturing, and cultivate a diverse base of businesses, spanning aerospace, rail, automation and offshore among others. The unique proposition that IAMP offers gives us a high level of confidence in the contribution it can make to the North East economy and to UK manufacturing at large.
"The scheme offers unrivalled transport links, with direct access to local ports and airports, and boasts an incredible talent pool of skilled workers. To have already attracted such significant interest is testament to this and we look forward to seeing it transform from unused land to the beating heart of the city's economy."
Henry Boot Developments, the development partner for the IAMP, said the planning application was a boost for the site, which it believes is putting the region on the map as an advanced manufacturing hub.
Anthony Clitheroe, Regional Manager at Henry Boot Developments, said: "IAMP is one of the most significant schemes coming out of the ground anywhere in the UK in respect of its scale and its potential impact on the economy. There will be no better location for automotive and advanced manufacturing companies, which is reflected in the interest in IAMP and the conversations taking place with potential occupiers. We look forward to making further announcements as the scheme continues to progress apace."
The IAMP is being built on a 150-hectare area of land and is set to see its first tenant move on site in the summer. French car parts business SNOP announced it would be the site's first occupant at the end of 2018, building a £15m manufacturing facility, investing an additional 15m Euros in new machinery and creating more than 100 new jobs in the process.
IAMP One covers 150 acres and will deliver 1.6m sq ft of advanced manufacturing and industrial space. The second phase will provide an additional 2.6m sq ft, creating a scheme of significant size and scale. UK Government has pledged £42m from the Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) towards infrastructure including new roads, bridges and environmental enhancements to support the development. The Local Growth Deal is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport as part of the North East Growth Deal.
Helen Golightly, Chief Executive at the North East LEP, said: "We welcome the continued progress in what is one of the largest infrastructure projects the region has seen in decades. IAMP will not only become a major national and European hub for automotive and advanced manufacturing but will provide more and better jobs in the North East for generations to come."