Paul Woolston, chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This is good news for the North East LEP’s city deals. We are already benefitting from the city deal led by Newcastle and Gateshead and we hope this will soon be joined by the Sunderland-led bid now that it has been shortlisted.
“We would then be the only LEP area in the UK with two city deals. The value of such investment is felt across a much wider area than the cities themselves. Each deal underpins the strength of public and private sector partnerships across the North East LEP area.
“This great news comes on the same day as Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport is in the area to see for himself the success of some of the world-leading companies in the transport sector located in the North East, in particular Nissan and the automotive supply chain around it.
“The visit has also given us the chance to update Patrick McLoughlin on the progress of the North East Economic review, led by Lord Adonis, which, like the city deals, brings together local authorities across the LEP area to plan and promote focused investment.
“Rail, road, air and sea transport from and within the NE LEP area have all featured in our update to the Secretary of State, and we hope that the recent progress on the A1 and some of the A19 junctions will not be the end of investment in this key part of our future economic success.”