Japanese car giant Nissan
will deliver a huge boost to the economy by announcing plans to build a new model at its UK factory under a £125 million investment programme, creating 2,000 new jobs.
The car will be built at the Sunderland plant from mid-2013 in a project supported by a £9.3 million grant from the Government.
Business Secretary Vince Cable hailed the news as a "clear vote of confidence" in this country's manufacturing industry.
The workforce at Sunderland will increase to a record 6,000, while the new jobs will be created at the site as well as among firms supplying the factory.
Mr Cable, who will be at the Geneva Motor Show for the official announcement, said: "It is fantastic news that Nissan will be building the new model in Sunderland. The investment is a boost for jobs at Nissan's plant as well as the wider supply chain.
"This latest announcement 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 was able to push on with developing this latest project thanks to the Regional Growth Fund offer."
Nissan is one of several businesses in the automotive sector to receive conditional offers from the £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund (RGF), which aims to support projects that will create jobs in areas of England dependent on the public sector and which are supported by private investment.
Unipres UK, a Sunderland-based business, supplies parts to Nissan and recently had confirmation it would receive £5 million from the fund towards a £36 million project which will create and protect 236 jobs.
Vantec Europe Limited also works with Nissan and its bid to the RGF is currently going through due diligence. Vantec currently manages nearly 100% of Nissan's warehousing requirements and has asked for support through the fund to allow it to expand capacity to accommodate Nissan's new model.