Nissan will create up to 350 new jobs after announcing it will open a new plant in Sunderland.
The new factory will be used to manufacture lithium batteries, and will be the centrepiece of the government’s second Low Carbon Economic area.
As part of this, the government has pledged to establish a new training centre specialising in low-carbon automotive technologies, a technology park, and an open-access test track for low-carbon vehicles in the North East.
Prime minister Gordon Brown said: “Nissan’s investment in a new battery plant and its hope to start producing electric vehicles in Sunderland is great news for the local economy, creating up to 350 direct jobs and creating and safeguarding hundreds more in the associated supply chain.”
Nissan’s senior vice-president for manufacturing in Europe, Trevor Mann, said: “Today’s announcement potentially marks another important milestone in establishing low-carbon transport as a viable and attractive alternative across the North East and beyond, and reinforces Nissan’s commitment to lead the world in the mass marketing of zero-emission vehicles.”
Nissan currently employs 4,200 workers at its Sunderland plant. In January, the firm announced it would cut 1,200 jobs at the plant due to falling customer demand for new cars.