Electric car company to create 250 jobs
About 250 jobs are to be created by a UK firm planning to build the world's first zero emission, electric 4x4 vehicle.
Liberty Electric Cars said it would begin manufacturing the vehicles at Cramlington, Northumberland later this year.
The Oxford-based company said it would invest £30m into the venture and was now in discussions with major suppliers in the region.
Production volume for the first vehicle, a plug-in electric Range Rover, is likely to top 1,000 annually, creating 250 new jobs and contributing more than £120m a year into the local economy, said the firm.
Barry Shrier, chief executive of Liberty, said: "The Liberty Electric Range Rover takes electric vehicle technology into a new sector, to large luxury cars that people aspire to drive, particularly in cities and urban environments where environmental controls are becoming increasingly tighter.
"North-east England, through the stewardship of One North East, is fast becoming a world leader in clean energy, infrastructure development and electric vehicle manufacturing, which is why we feel that our business will prosper here. We have also been greatly encouraged by the region's strong academic links."
Alan Clarke, chief executive of One North East, which promotes industry and business, said: "This investment is excellent news for the region and places North-East England at the forefront of electric vehicle manufacture and infrastructure development."
Nick Brown MP, minister for the North East, said: "The North East is home to a number of exciting projects in the renewable energy sector which can make a real impact on the region's employment base.
"The creation of 250 jobs from the Liberty Electric Cars project demonstrates this."