James Ramsbotham, Journal column
Last week was a great one for our region.
Nissan’s decision to make two models at its Washington factory is a real vote of confidence in the management of the plant, who work so tirelessly to ensure it is the most productive it possibly can be.
They are obviously supported by a first class workforce who totally deserve to have the job security the new investment offers.
There are people who have worked for Nissan since it opened and can now rest assured that not only themselves, but young people in the area, are able to build a long term career in the motor industry here in North East England.
Credit for Nissan’s decision must also go to the world-class supply chain that has been established in this region. The first and second tier manufacturers have very much played their part in the successful growth of the Washington plant, ensuring the production line is able to run as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.
Many of those businesses are our members, companies such as Nifco and Express Managed Services.
The investment decision sends a message around the world that the North East is a national leader in exporting and a great place to do business.
Many have turned the Nissan announcement into a story about Brexit. It’s not; it’s a story about a superb manufacturing plant and its supply chain. The Government does deserve credit for giving Nissan the reassurances they needed to make this investment here with confidence after the referendum. But while few other investments will be of similar scale, many more businesses need certainty about future trading conditions, and we hope to soon see clearer communication on how Brexit will be implemented.