The news from Nissan that a new £1bn investment in a battery factory for electric vehicles will put Wearside at the leading edge of the green revolution in the car industry has been warmly welcomed across the region.

The development is expected to create more than 6,000 new jobs over time.

And Helen Golightly OBE, chief executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Nissan’s ongoing commitment to invest in the North East is testament to the skills, talent and expertise in our region’s advanced manufacturing sector.

“The announcement also recognises the leading role our region has to play in new sustainable forms of energy, like electrification.

“The UK’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050 has accelerated the need for R&D and investment in electric vehicles, and Nissan’s announcement will put our region at the forefront of new developments in this sector.

“Nissan’s plans for its Sunderland plant will not only create thousands of direct jobs, but it will also deliver thousands more in the supply chain, ensuring the economic benefits reach right across our region.”

James Ramsbotham, chief executive, North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “This announcement is fantastic news not just for Nissan but the whole region.

“This company’s impact on the North East economy right from the start of its time here, cannot be overstated. Nissan being on Wearside is transformative.

“This new investment puts the business at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution and ensures its stature as an innovator will last long into the future. Well done to everyone involved. Nissan has both our full support and huge admiration.”

That warm business response was echoed in the field of education, with Vice-Chancellor and chief executive of the University of Sunderland Sir David Bell, expressing his delight.

He said: “For everyone who lives, works or studies in the city, this is tremendous news.

“As with so much else in recent times, it demonstrates that Sunderland can combine great ambition with an ability to deliver major projects for the good of all.”