Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

BRIDGES AND PARTNERSHIPS; Councillor PAUL WATSON, Leader of Sunderland City Council, Puts Forward the Case for Investing in Sunderland

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

BRIDGES AND PARTNERSHIPS; Councillor PAUL WATSON, Leader of Sunderland City Council, Puts Forward the Case for Investing in Sunderland

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Watson

SUNDERLAND is a brave city, a bold city, and we're not afraid to innovate.

People and investors like these attributes. As I look ahead to the new bridge opening next year; as developments on our award-winning seafront take shape; as a new central business district develops at the Vaux site; how Next plc is moving into the city centre with a major new store; how the City of Culture bid is moving forward; or our hosting of the Tall Ships Race in 2018, I can see a common theme of taking the long view, working in partnership and remaining at the heart of our region.

It was noted by the North East England Chamber of Commerce recently how there was growing momentum around Sunderland with the New Wear Crossing taking shape and how plans were moving on for the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP). All credit to them for this recognition.

If you don't know these projects, the crossing is the new bridge between Castletown on the north side of the River Wear to Pallion on the south; and the IAMP, equivalent in size to more than 100 football pitches, is for land to the north of Nissan and west of the A19.

This bridge and its approach roads are currently the region's biggest civil engineering project and the A-frame pylon, which rises to 105m (344ft), is a new landmark for the region. But this is about more than transport benefits or symbolism - the crossing is also about helping to open up new development and economic opportunities.

The IAMP, too, is about securing more automotive supply chain jobs following Nissan's recent announcement that the Qashqai and X-Trail replacement models are to be manufactured here from 2020. Also, in case you didn't know, the IAMP has been recognised as a nationally significant infrastructure project by the government and is designed to attract more than 5,000 jobs and PS300m of private sector investment over the next 10 years. …

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