Demolition work gets underway this week at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).
Ground will be cleared at Washington, to advance the next stage of the IAMP. A row of empty properties will be demolished, allowing future phases of the 150-hectare manufacturing park - which spans land in Sunderland and South Tyneside - to progress.
The work - which will see six vacant properties, that stand in an isolated area to the south of the site, removed - is an important step in unlocking a large section of IAMP land, that will clear the way for more large manufacturing facilities to be constructed, alongside the three new buildings that have already been developed on the park in the last three years.
The land the houses stand on was allocated as 'employment land' in the council's local plan in 2017, meaning they have been earmarked for demolition some time.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "IAMP is an immense site, both in respect of the area it covers as well as its potential to drive the economic growth of the city and wider region, so unlocking it is a cornerstone of our vision to create more high value jobs for local people in and around Sunderland.
"Along with a major programme of infrastructure works that were carried out by Esh at the end of last year, taking this latest step allows us to prepare the ground for more investment, ensuring that IAMP is a shovel-ready site that can very quickly deliver the high-quality accommodation that manufacturers are looking for."
The demolition follows completion of Esh's £8.4m contract to deliver a 1,500-metre highway with two access points along with the installation of pathways, kerbing, traffic signals, associated telecoms and utilities. Bulk earthworks, drainage, landscaping and environmental mitigation works were also undertaken, as well as the creation of four attenuation ponds and a new substation engineered platform. It also means that future phases of IAMP can move forward without delay.
IAMP is being delivered through a joint venture between Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council.
Leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Tracey Dixon, said that the latest work signalled more investment coming into the park.
Cllr Dixon said: "IAMP is progressing quickly and the way is being paved for more developments on this nationally significant site that is already home to some powerhouse manufacturers.
"Both the infrastructure works led by Esh and this latest programme of work mean that we will be able to progress with further development on IAMP at pace - and that we unlock additional parts of the site that we can offer to potential investors."
IAMP is situated to the north of the Nissan Motor Manufacturing plant, adjacent to the A19 and with excellent links to the A1(M). Hailed as a nationally significant site for manufacturing in the UK, IAMP will make suitable land available and create a bespoke environment for the advanced manufacturing industry and automotive supply chain. The first phase of IAMP will see 1,650,000 sq ft of manufacturing space unlocked and will support the predicted 7,000 jobs that the overall development is set to create within the region.