Sunderland could be given extra powers to help it create more jobs, boost skills levels further and invest in more growth, under a new 'city deal' announced by the Government.
It has been selected to join a group of 'core cities' invited to bid for new powers and be freed from certain Whitehall controls, in return for agreeing to sign up to a series of promises.
Leader of Sunderland City Council Councillor Paul Watson said: "A city deal for Sunderland has the potential to give a major boost to our economy and that of the wider area.
"We're looking at unlocking more potential growth in manufacturing and advanced engineering in Sunderland and the wider region.
"We want to work more closely with the Government to address the supply of land, transportation, skills and the pace of development."
The coalition approved a first wave of city deals for Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester in July this year.
Twenty cities have been invited to bid in this latest wave, with a smaller number of cities going forward.
Paul Woolston, chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership said: "This is great news for Sunderland and the wider region.
"Sunderland is a strong authority which has an impressive track record of working well in partnership with others to attract major investment to the region.
"We’re delighted that the city now has a chance to bring significant new funds to the region.
"The North East LEP is very fortunate to have city deals for first Newcastle and now Sunderland - the only LEP area to host two city deals.
"We are already benefiting from Newcastle’s successful City Deal bid, and Sunderland’s proposals will extend the impact of locally-based, targeted investment for the region.
"The City Deals underpin the strength of public and private sector partnerships across the North East LEP area."
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