Plans to create more than 5,000 jobs in the North East and attract more than £300m of development have moved a step closer after the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) initiative was officially endorsed.
IAMP is a joint project between South Tyneside and Sunderland city councils and is designed to be a world-class environment for high tech industries and advanced manufacturing businesses.
Proposed for an area just off the A19, the government has already pledged £42m through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership towards infrastructure at the site including new roads, bridges and environmental enhancements.
At a South Tyneside Council meeting, the IAMP's Joint Area Action Plan (AAP) was formally adopted following it being declared "sound and legally compliant" by an independent planning inspector.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "IAMP will have a major impact on our communities, creating thousands of jobs in advanced manufacturing, automotive supply and knowledge-based industries.
"The adoption of the Area Action Plan marks a milestone in the successful delivery of the council's vision of a truly world class business environment."
Sunderland City Council has also adopted the AAP.
Both authorities have now completed extensive consultation on the IAMP plans, including a form of public inquiry.
Councillor Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "The decisions in South Tyneside, following ours in Sunderland last week, show how important this project is to our region.
"IAMP is about expanding the continued success of advanced manufacturing in the North East. It is an important project regionally and nationally, and there is already considerable investor interest in the site."
Subject to further permissions, work on the project could begin in 2018.