NISSAN has announced plans for a £1billion gigafactory in Sunderland on the same day voters go to the polls in the Batley and Spen by-election.
Tories are hoping the announcement for the new factory will give them a boost at the polls in the Yorkshire seat. The Conservatives are confident of winning the once Labour stronghold, delivering a devastating blow to Sir Keir Starmer.
Nissan had previously threatened to leave the UK due to the country leaving the EU, with the announcement of the new mega-investment seen by the Government as a huge win for Brexit Britain.
The Sunderland plant will be the site responsible for making a new electric “cross-over” car that will be exported to the continent.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared the announcement a “vote of confidence in the UK” as he hailed the new investment.
He said: “Nissan’s announcement to build its new-generation all-electric vehicle in Sunderland, alongside a new gigafactory from Envision AESC, is a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly-skilled workers in the North East.
“Building on over 30 years of history in the area, this is a pivotal moment in our electric vehicle revolution and securing its future for decades to come.
“Commitments like these exemplify our ability to create hundreds of green jobs and boost British industry, whilst also allowing people to travel in an affordable and sustainable way so we can eliminate our contributions to climate change.”
Sunderland was one of the most supportive areas of the whole UK for Brexit, with 61.3 percent of the city’s electorate voting to quit the bloc.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “I am extremely proud that Nissan has not only reaffirmed its belief in Britain, but is doubling down on its long-standing commitment to our country.
He added: “This fantastic investment by Nissan and Envision-AESC represents a solemn commitment to the people of Sunderland, bringing further high-skilled jobs and turbocharging our plans to level up the North East.”
The Tories have made levelling up the UK their central pledge since the 2019 general election, promising to provide more investment to areas of the UK that feel left behind.
A pledge of greater investment in Yorkshire has been a key message by the Conservatives in the Batley and Spen by-election, with the party hoping today’s announcement on Sunderland will help prove they are serious about attracting businesses to the north of England.
The West Yorkshire constituency has voted Labour since 1997.
However, polling by Survation last week suggested Mr Johnosn’s party was set to win the seat with 47 percent support, compared to Labour’s 43 percent.