An auto park planned for the outskirts of Sunderland – set to bring in £300 million in investment and create 5,000 jobs – was given the green light last week.

The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) is a joint project between Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council.

It is hoped that IAMP will be a world class environment for high-tech industries and advanced manufacturing companies. 

Planned for an area north of the Nissan plant and close to the A19, the International Advanced Manufacturing Park will cover 150 hectares and provide floorspace equivalent to 100 soccer pitches.

The UK government has already pledged £42 million to the IAMP project, which will be spent on upgrading the local infrastructure by building new roads and bridges. Both local authorities will also contribute to the scheme.

With Sunderland City Council having already given the project the go-ahead following an independent report, it was just left to South Tyneside Council to grant their approval to the councils’ Joint Area Action Plan (AAP).

At a meeting late last week, South Tyneside Council decided to adopt the IAMP scheme after hearing it declared sound and legally compliant by an independent planning officer.

The leader of South Tyneside Council, Cllr Iain Malcolm, said, “IAMP will have a major impact on our communities, creating thousands of jobs in advanced manufacturing, automotive supply and knowledge-based industries.”

“The adoption of the Area Action Plan marks a milestone in the successful delivery of the council’s vision of a truly world-class business environment.” 

“IAMP will play a key role in transforming the fortunes of this region, and the UK as a whole.”

The deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Harry Trueman, said, “The decisions in South Tyneside, following ours in Sunderland last week, show how important this project is to our region.”

“IAMP is about expanding the continuing success of advanced manufacturing in the north east. It is an important project regionally and nationally, and there is already considerable investor interest in the site.”

The APP sets out a broad planning and land use framework for IAMP for the next fifteen years. Subject to further permissions, work on the scheme could begin as early as 2018 and the councils will now work on preparing a planning application. 

A public meeting will be held next week so that local people can learn more about IAMP. The meeting will take place on Thursday 7th December at 7.30 pm at the Bunny Hill Centre, Hylton Lane, Sunderland, SR5 4BW.

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