Industry Minister, Jacqui Smith, today announced £3.26 million Government support for production of the new Micra coupe-cabriolet at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, which has 4500 employees.
According to the DTI, over 250 jobs will be secured by the Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant, which forms part of a £95 million investment by Nissan in its new model.
Available to both manufacturing and service industries, RSA gives financial assistance to those projects which are seen as viable, create or safeguard jobs and which, without the assistance of RSA, would not go ahead.
The car will go on sale in Europe in 2005 and it will be the first coupe-cabriolet to be built in Europe by Nissan, who expect to produce 20,000 cars annually.
The project is said to utilise the skills and manufacturing technology of Nissan’s Design Centre in London, its Technical Centre at Cranfield and plant at Sunderland.
‘I am delighted that Nissan has chosen to build the car in Britain and that its other UK based facilities have been so central to the development of the new coupe-cabriolet,’ said Smith.
She added: ‘This assistance demonstrates the Government’s commitment to high skilled, high value manufacturing which is exactly where the UK needs to focus in order to stay ahead in the global market.’