UK: port helps Sunderland boost jobsNews // June 20, 2013
Port of Sunderland is being held up as one of the key drivers of an economic strategy that has seen Sunderland lead the northeast of England region for the biggest increase in private sector jobs from 2010 to 2012.
The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, vindicate a programme of inward investment projects that have been put in place by the city council since the launch of an economic masterplan in October 2010.
The city recorded an impressive 15.2 per cent boost to employment from businesses across Sunderland, with 12,500 more jobs in the city. A total of 94,500 people are now employed in the city’s private sector in 2012 compared to 82,000 in 2010. And the city’s port has been at the heart of the economic growth Sunderland has enjoyed, having recorded its busiest 12 months in 24 years.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of the Port of Sunderland board, said: “It’s good to see that Sunderland is leading the way in the region for attracting new jobs. These statistics are a vindication of our policies over the last few years. We’ve promoted the city and lobbied to build a strong profile for Sunderland’s business sectors, including the offshore, new and renewable energy and subsea engineering sectors – fields in which the port is establishing itself as a key player.
“We work very hard to attract new investment from companies worldwide, and to support the growth of local companies. It’s rewarding to see the robust, ambitious performance of our companies translate as 12,500 more jobs for the city in the last two years.”
The city’s manufacturing and software technology sectors have also brought new investment, as well as significant growth in Sunderland’s automotive sector, with Nissan’s record-breaking Sunderland plant having announced thousands of new jobs since 2010. The car manufacturer’s Sunderland-based supplier companies such as Vantec Europe, Calsonic Kansei, Johnson Controls, Unipres and Tacle have all created more jobs as car production has soared.
In the last two years Sunderland has welcomed around 20 private-sector investment projects to the city, creating over 3,500 jobs. Nearly 200 local, growing businesses have received financial support, creating 1000 jobs and safeguarding a further 600.
The city’s jobs jump in the last two years coincides with the launch of the City Council’s economic masterplan, a 15 year blueprint for Sunderland, which was put into action in 2010. It brought together private and public sector partners to encourage international investment, manufacturing and the development of digital and creative industries.
Matthew Hunt, Port of Sunderland’s director, said that he was delighted that the port had played a role in the growth the city had enjoyed. He said: “The port has been resurgent this year, with the attraction of a significant amount of new business coming into our docks – and along with it, long term commitments to the city.
“Within the last twelve months, we have seen companies including AJ Woods and LV Shipping establish their own permanent bases in the city, signalling the strength of the relationships we have managed to establish. It bodes well for the future of the port, as well as the long term economic prosperity of this city.”