The government will invest £160m in an Investment Zone for the North East, which will pave the way for private sector investments worth hundreds of millions of pounds. The zone is focused on advanced manufacturing and green industries, leveraging the region’s recognised strengths and prominence in the international clean energy hub scene. The area already excels in several areas, including automotive and advanced manufacturing, electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, offshore wind, and advanced low-carbon materials. The North East Investment Zone will align with the Arc of Innovation, spanning from Northumberland to Sunderland and Durham, further creating new business and community opportunities. The zone will benefit from tax incentives and upfront infrastructure investment, with the support of innovation and skills region-wide.
Nissan recently declared a reaffirmation of its support for the North East, announcing plans to manufacture three electric vehicle models at its Sunderland plant. Notably, local leaders gave their final approval to establish a new mayoral combined authority in the wake of a £4.2bn devolution deal. The seven councils in the area are actively engaged in leading the transition, and an election for a new mayor will take place in May 2021 across local authorities in Sunderland, North Tyneside, Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, and South Tyneside.
Dame Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, confirmed, “This announcement will be a real boost to the region, creating even more skilled jobs and helping us collectively grow a bigger and better economy. Communities across the whole region will benefit from this announcement, which will contribute significantly to our devolution plans to create good jobs and help reduce inequality.” Meanwhile, Cllr Graeme Miller, the Interim portfolio holder for Finance and Investment for the new Combined Authority and Leader of Sunderland City Council, added, “There will be a significant knock-on benefit of jobs across supply chains and in construction, which we believe will act as a catalyst for further private sector investment and opportunities across our communities.”
Ultimately, the Investment Zone for the North East represents a bold step towards seizing future opportunities, spurring investment, driving growth, and creating a more prosperous future for all businesses and communities in the region.