During a visit the Geneva Motor Show, business secretary Vince Cable said the Government would fund Nissan’s latest car project.
The Invitation concept car was unveiled at the show, and Nissan announced that a production version will be built at Sunderland next year.
The company expects the manufacture of the new model to create around 2,000 new jobs at the plant and wider supply chain.
Nissan received a conditional offer of funding in the first round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund last year. Its bid is currently going through due diligence, but the offer of funding has enabled the car maker to progress the development of their new vehicle.
Business secretary Vince Cable said: “It is fantastic news that Nissan will be building the new model in Sunderland. This highlights the UK’s track record of attracting inward investment. Global vehicle manufacturers are beating a path to the UK’s door. They recognise that the Government values the automotive sector.”
Nissan is one of several businesses in the automotive sector to receive conditional offers from the £2.4bn Regional Growth Fund.
Several other firms from the automotive sector have secured offers of funding for their projects. They include General Motors, Lotus, Jaguar Land Rover, Pirelli Tyres and Aston Martin.
Bentley has also submitted two bids to the fund and in January the first of these received £1.69m for a £4.5m project to upskill existing employees and take on new staff to support increased production.
Rachel Eade, supply chain specialist for the Manufacturing Advisory Service, commented on the announcement: “The development of the Invitiation at Sunderland sends a simple message to the rest of the world that the UK is a great place to build cars as seen by JLR, BMW and Ford’s recent investments.
There are roughly 50 component suppliers in the Midlands that already supply Nissan, so this naturally will be seen as another opportunity to bid for and win new parts.”
Eade added:”I think it is also important to recognise that the Government has put in a £9.3m grant to make the project possible, evidence that it is backing up its approach to manufacturing with real tangible support.”
The third round of the RGF is now open to bids, and will aim to allocate a further £1bn to projects from across England that will create new jobs, are based in areas dependent on the public sector and are supported by private investment.
The deadline for bids is 13 June 2012.