Car giant Nissan announces plans to invest £125m in building a new model at a plant in Sunderland, creating 2,000 new jobs. The car will compete with the VW Polo and the Ford Fiesta.
The project, which is supported by a £9.3m grant from the government, is to begin from mid-2013.
Their announcement was welcomed by industry and business leaders after numerous job losses at leading manufacturers over the past year.
Business secretary Vince Cable hailed the news as a “clear vote of confidence” in the UK’s manufacturing industry.
The new jobs will be created at the site as well as among firms supplying the factory, and the workforce at Sunderland will increase to a record 6,000.
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Mr Cable, who will attend the Geneva Motor Show for the official announcement, said: “It is fantastic news that Nissan will be building the new model in Sunderland. The investment is a boost for jobs at Nissan’s plant as well as the wider supply chain.
“This latest announcement highlights the UK’s track record of attracting inward investment. Global vehicle manufacturers are beating a path to the UK’s door.”
The Japanese car giant is one of several motoring businesses to receive conditional offers from the £2.4bn Regional Growth Fund.
Nissan produced more than 480,000 vehicles at its Sunderland plant last year, up 14 per cent from 2010 and a new record for a single UK car plant, largely down to the success of its Qashqai models.
The Sunderland plant also makes the Juke and Note models.