SunderlandUK – The three expansions are being completed at Rainton Bridge Industrial Estate, increasing the local automotive manufacturing workforce by 250. More than 100 jobs will be created at Lear, 130 at TRW and 25 at Expert Tooling.

The 3,500 sq. m expansion at Lear, which established its first UK site at Rainton in 2011, will enable the company to double its production to over 600,000 car seats per annum. Its factory currently employs 420 personnel and supplies seating for Nissan Qasqai vehicles made in Sunderland, as well as Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) models.

TRW received assistance from Sunderland City Council and £1.95m from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to double its floor space, in a project due to be completed by the end of this year. A recruitment drive beginning in the second half of 2015 will add 150 individuals to the current workforce of 200. The plant exports its entire output of advanced belt-driven and column-drive steering systems, amidst strong demand from Europe and China.

In May or June, Expert Tooling will move into its new facility, which triples its assembly space to 30,000 sq. ft. The equipment supplier, which serves Nissan, Rolls-Royce, JLR and TRW, has already filled half of the additional 25 positions required to support its expansion.

“This is a sector that is continuing to expand in the city, thanks to our strong supply chain, excellent location and logistics and the groundbreaking work taking place in the field of electric and environmentally friendly vehicles,” said councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council.