Nissan workforce set for Freedom of the City ceremony

Nissan’s workforce is to receive the Freedom of the City at a special ceremony next week.

Employees at the car plant - representing some 7,000 workers - will be presented with the honour at an extraordinary meeting of Sunderland City Council next Thursday.

The event will be held in the council chamber of the Civic Centre.

A report issued to accompany the 6pm meeting states: “The council do confer the Honorary Freedom of the city upon the Employees of Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd as a token of the esteem in which they are held by the citizens of Sunderland and in recognition of their continued dedication to ensuring the success of the car plant and their positive contribution to the economic wellbeing of the city and people of Sunderland.”

Confirmation of the ceremony comes as Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson welcomed news the factory will increase its production by 20 per cent and double the amount of parts is sources from UK-based companies.

The firm had declined to comment on the reports by Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review, which said the car giant is to up its productivity. It has been claimed this is to offset increased costs following Brexit.

The publication, which covers the Japanese stock market, says Nissan will encourage parts suppliers to relocate close to the plant, which will help reduce the risk of the risk of higher import and export duties, should the UK lose access to the European single market and customs union.