New Nissan project 'to create 200 new jobs'

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The Independent Online

The Japanese car-maker Nissan has started production of a new engine which could lead to the creation of 200 jobs in the North-east of England.

The two-litre petrol engine is being built at the company's plant in Sunderland as part of a £15m investment programme over the next few years.

About 60,000 of the engines will be produced each year, safeguarding 130 jobs and creating up to 200 additional posts by 2013, depending on the market.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, the vice-president of manufacturing for Nissan UK, said: "Today marks an important new stage in engine production in Sunderland. In recent years our employees have focused on improving the overall competitiveness of our engine operation so we are able to bring new business like this to the plant."

Margaret Fay, the chairman of the development agency One North East, which gave Nissan a grant of almost £2m, added: "This fresh investment from Nissan is a real boost both for the staff at its Sunderland plant and for the wider automotive industry in our region."

Earlier this month, the Government confirmed that a £20m loan to Nissan to help the car-maker build Leaf electric cars will go ahead. The loan is part of a £200m package from the European Investment Bank.