Nissan has announced that its Wearside factory will start producing batteries for electric cars, which is expected to create 350 new jobs.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that Nissan’s £200m investment “was great news for the local economy”.
The plant, near Sunderland, has beaten off competition from other Nissan factories in Europe for the investment.
The move could pave the way for the production of electric vehicles at the North East plant in the near future.
“Sunderland could now be a strong contender to produce electric vehicles for Nissan in Europe, and we will continue to work with Nissan to ensure this happens,” the prime minister said.
Mr Brown visited the Sunderland factory along with Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.
Mr Mandelson said a “low-carbon economic area” would be established in the North East.
Nissan’s £200m investment will be spread over five years and the new plant, which will make lithium-ion batteries, will also create and secure additional jobs in the related supply chain.
Source: BBC News