The International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) is a flagship project for the North East. It is linked to the safeguarding and growth of employment within the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors that have an important role in the UK economy. The North East plays a key national role in these sectors and IAMP is required to provide land and buildings to deliver growth and retain the sectors within the UK. IAMP will create over 5,000 new jobs in the region and unlock £400 million of private investment.
Research carried out in 2013 for Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council identified that the ability for growth in the North East was limited by a lack of sites capable of providing for the needs of the industry. It was recommended that the development of a site in one location where businesses could ‘cluster’ together would bring the greatest benefits to the region. It was determined that the site should be as close as possible to the existing Nissan complex; close to the North East’s skilled workforce; and close to a range of transport facilities to ensure goods could be moved rapidly to national and international markets.
An extensive search for a suitable site of about 150 hectares was carried out and the findings from that process were put out for consultation in February 2015. Consultees reviewed the various sites put forward and overwhelmingly concluded their preference for a site located immediately to the north of the Nissan complex, to the west of the A19 and to the north of the A1290.
In September 2015, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government confirmed that the development of an IAMP on the site is a project of ‘national significance’ and that a Development Consent Order would be required to allow the development to proceed.
“…the proposed project would be likely to have a significant economic impact, be important in driving growth in the economy, and that it would have an impact on an area wider than a single local authority area.”
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, 04 December 2017
Detailed technical work has confirmed the exact boundaries of the development, the amount and type of uses that should be provided and any environmental or social or economic measures that needed to be brought forward at the same time to ensure that the scheme would have minimal adverse impacts and maximum positive impacts. This work was used to develop an Area Action Plan for the IAMP that was the subject of detailed consultation and a Hearing in front of an independent inspector. The Area Action Plan was formally adopted on 30 November 2017 and sets the context for any applications that are submitted for IAMP.
The project is now being brought forward by the IAMP LLP that is a joint venture formed by Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council for the purpose of promoting and delivering IAMP as defined in the Area Action Plan. IAMP LLP has appointed Henry Boot Developments Limited as its development partner for the whole of IAMP.
UK Government has pledged £42m from the Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) towards infrastructure including new roads, bridges and environmental enhancements to support the development. The Local Growth Deal is supporting major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport as part of the North East Growth Deal.