The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) - a scheme being led by South Tyneside Council and Sunderland City Council along with development partner, HBD - has won a coveted award, as its transformation into a bustling manufacturing hub continues apace.
IAMP has won the Award for Planning Excellence at the RTPI North East Regional Awards, which celebrates outstanding projects that demonstrate the power of planning in the region.
Planning advisor, Lichfields, nominated the project for the award after delivering a complex series of applications to bring the site forward for development. Their work has paved the way for IAMP to quickly advance, with a range of occupiers now on site, and infrastructure works now complete to allow for further development.
IAMP, located in Sunderland and South Tyneside, will deliver 392,000sq m (4.2 million sq ft) of industrial floorspace for advanced manufacturing and automotive, attracting more than £400m of private sector investment and creating over 7,000 jobs. Already, it is home to manufacturers SNOP, Faltec and the Innovation Centre.
To keep the pace of development going, planning has been done in phases, with parts of the site separated from the declared Development Consent Order boundary, enabling planning applications to be fast-tracked and three manufacturing units to be built to tight timescales, which helped meet urgent requirements to increase production efficiency.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "As with all major development projects in Sunderland right now, we are moving them forward at lightning pace, and this award demonstrates the work done to date to ensure IAMP is no exception."
Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader of South Tyneside Council, added: "IAMP represents a hugely significant opportunity for the area, in terms of economic impact and job creation, so the speedy transformation of the site is vital. We're delighted to see that recognised at the RTPI Awards."
Recently, one of the buildings on IAMP was rapidly adapted and fitted out as a regional Nightingale hospital, something that demonstrates the responsiveness of the site.
Harvey Emms, Senior Director at planning and development consultancy Lichfields, said: "We are very proud to see IAMP achieve the Award for Planning Excellence. It is a regionally and nationally significant project that showcases Lichfields' responsiveness, flexibility and adaptability to deliver permissions for our clients."
Anthony Clitheroe, director at HBD, said: "It's fantastic to see IAMP recognised at the RTPI Awards - development has progressed very quickly and planning has of course played a key role in making that possible. It's a complex project that will deliver significant benefit, creating thousands of jobs and securing crucial inward investment so we're all very pleased with the progress made in such a short space of time."