Government response

Government cash boost helps drive growth for Sunderland car parts factory

The Deputy Prime Minister will today visit Sunderland business Unipres UK to see the start of work to install a new 3,000 tonne press.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


This follows a successful bid to the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The company, which supplies parts to Nissan and Honda, has secured £41 million of private sector and government investment from the fund headed up by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The Regional Growth Fund sees government and the private sector work together to boost local economies. 316 new jobs are to be created and protected at Unipres UK’s Sunderland factory as a result with an estimated 50 additional supply chain jobs.

Unipres UK will use the funding to accelerate production with the installation of the new press and state of the art robotic assembly equipment. £36 million of private investment has been secured for the project alongside £5 million government funding.

The Deputy Prime Minister will meet staff and apprentices on a tour of the factory, before visiting the construction site being developed for the new production facilities with the help of Regional Growth Fund cash. The investment follows a period of strict checks by the company and the government to ensure the deal offers the best value for money to taxpayers.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

Hot on the heels of the fantastic news that an investment from the government’s Regional Growth Fund has supported Nissan to create 2000 jobs in Sunderland, I’m delighted to be at the city’s Unipres factory today to see the start of development work that will lead to over 300 direct jobs for the area.

Creating jobs and growth is our number one priority for Britain right now.

But it’s not enough just to get us back to where we were. There can be no forgotten areas of Britain. We need to rebalance the economy by supporting growth in every region and across a range of industries. That’s what the Regional Growth Fund is all about.

Unipres (UK) Limited Finance Director, Graham Baines, said:

This significant investment in plant expansion demonstrates Unipres Corporation’s ongoing commitment to the future of the UK operation and is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our employees.

We greatly appreciate the assistance provided by the UK Government through the Regional Growth Fund and the support received from Sunderland City Council and our advisers, UNW, throughout the bidding process.

We have already received a significant proportion of the grant which is invaluable to us at this stage of the project when the impact on our cash flow is greatest.

The £2.4 billion Regional Growth Fund uses public money to leverage private sector investment for projects which will create long term jobs, sustainable growth and boost the local economy. At least £5 private sector investment is put in for every £1 of public money. The first two rounds of the fund have provisionally awarded £157 million to over 60 projects across the north east, leading to the creation of over 13,000 jobs and over 25,000 additional supply chain jobs.

Applications for money for the third round of the fund close on 13 June 2012. Bids are considered by an Independent Advisory Board which makes recommendations to ministers.

Notes to editors

1. So far, nationally, there have been over 170 successful bids to the fund, leveraging around £7.5 billion of private sector investment and set to create and protect 330,000 jobs.

2. In the 2011 Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osbourne announced a further £1 billion will be added to the fund. The aim is distribute this through the third round, but further rounds may be added if it cannot all be allocated. This will ensure the highest quality projects are supported.

3. For more information on the criteria of the fund and how to bid, please visit

4. There will be 13 road shows taking place across England to give potential bidders the opportunity to find out more about the fund and get advice on their proposals. The first road show will be in Birmingham on March 16. Details on the dates and locations of all the road shows will be available on the RGF website shortly. 

5. Summary details of the bids received in rounds one and two are available here.

6. Successful round one projects in the North East include:

  • SSI UK Ltd
  • Durham County Cricket Club
  • Nissan
  • Bridon International
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Chirton Engineering Package
    The individual projects are as follows:
    o Alnmaritec
    o Chirton Engineering
    o Conitech
    o Verta Energy
    o Monitor Coating
    o Red Marine
    o Seward Electronic
  • Tharsus Engineering
  • Nifco UK
  • Cleveland Potash
  • Connor Solutions Ltd
  • AV Dawson
  • Duco

Successful round two projects in the North East include:

  • Johnson Matthey
  • Huntsman
  • Kromek Limited
  • Narec
  • Tinsley Special Coatings
  • Darchem Engineering
  • Riverside Flooring
  • Wilton Gasification Project
  • Vantec
  • Able Seaton UK
  • Calsonic Kansei Sunderland LTD
  • PD Teesport
  • A&P Tyne
  • Unipres UK
Published 9 March 2012