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Sunderland plant reported to have landed £380 million grant

Nissan's Sunderland factory is to be awarded a £380 million grant to build a new generation of electric cars, according to reports.

The grant was given to Nissan by the European Investment Bank in April, and the company has now decided to invest the bulk of it in the UK.

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Nissan plans to turn its Sunderland factory into Europe's biggest electric car plant, securing 4500 jobs and those of up to 20,000 suppliers.

In order to win the investment, the Sunderland plant had to fight off competition from a rival factory in Spain. The UK government is expected to supplement the grant with further incentives.

Nissan is expected to unveil its first electric car later this month, with the first production vehicle expected to take to UK roads in 2011 with mass roll-out in 2012.

Lord Mandelson visited the Sunderland factory in April and hailed their ambition as a 'new industrial revolution in action'.

The reports remain unconfirmed, although an official announcement is expected to be made next week by the Japanese car giant.

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