July 10, 2019 @ 12:48 by Steven Hugill
More than 700 jobs were created and £45 million of capital investment made in Sunderland during the last financial year, latest figures have revealed.
Sunderland City Council says the city is now home to 90 international companies from 20 different territories, employing a total of 26,350 people.
According to its figures, the largest single project of the 15 that generated jobs and investment in the last year was undertaken by French automotive supplier SNOP UK, which is building a 22,000sq metre base in the city.
Other investments included Germany’s RWE Npower creating new specialist roles in a digital customer service wing at Rainton Bridge, and US firm Saggezza announcing plans to increase its Sunderland workforce.
Swedish-owned Walker Filtration, which makes advanced filtration equipment on the Wear Industrial Estate, also saw growth in 2018/19, as did US-headquartered hearing aid battery maker Rayovac, which installed extra production capacity on its Stephenson Industrial Estate plant.
Councillor Graeme Miller, council leader, said: “Our international links are incredibly important to this city’s success.
“For us, economic development is a major priority, supporting companies to survive and thrive in the city, retaining and potentially securing repeat investment from inward investors and supporting local businesses to access overseas markets and grow.
“But our international work isn’t just about economic development. Equipping young people with the skills and competencies needed by employers in today’s global environment is also important, as is raising their aspirations and knowledge and understanding of other cultures and adding to the city’s vibrancy.
“The city’s international links are equally important to our partners. The University of Sunderland now has more than 2,000 students in the city and 240 in London from over 90 countries, as well as more than 6,000 students studying with partners in 14 different countries and 38,722 international alumni across 200 countries worldwide.
“Both they and the football club have continued to develop and broaden Sunderland’s international reach during the year.
“And, as a city, we remain committed to maximising these international links for the benefit of the city, our businesses and our residents.”