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Nissan's Sunderland plant receives a royal visit

Nissan's Sunderland plant receives a royal visit

HRH The Prince of Wales visited Nissan's Sunderland plant to see production of the fully electric Leaf and to learn about the carmaker's job creation programme  the Nissan Skills Foundation.

HRH The Prince of Wales' relationship with the plant dates back nearly 30 years. During a trip to Japan in 1986, the Prince of Wales took part in a traditional Japanese Daruma ceremony to mark the start of production at the newly constructed Sunderland plant and rode in one of Nissan's electric vehicles at the company's Zama plant.

During his latest visit to the plant, The Prince of Wales was shown how a further 29 years of electric vehicle technology has helped produce Nissan's electric Leaf  the world's first mass produced 100 per cent electric vehicle. He also met apprentices and employees involved in the developing the project.

Chairman of Nissan Europe, Paul Willcox, said: "We were honoured to receive a visit from The Prince of Wales. With a keen, lifelong interest in sustainability, His Royal Highness was interested to see Leaf production as well as hear about Sunderland's achievements as one of the UK's most successful car plants."

Following the tour of the production line, The Prince of Wales visited Nissan's Global Training Centre, which is part of Gateshead College's Skills Academy for Sustainability, Manufacturing and Innovation.

Vice president of manufacturing at Nissan, Kevin Fitzpatrick, said: "Nissan launched the Skills Foundation last year with the aim of using everything from electric vehicles to Formula One to encourage young people to take up careers in manufacturing and engineering. As one of the region's largest employers it's important that Nissan take a lead role. I was delighted for the opportunity to show The Prince of Wales just some of the activities that we offer the region's schools."

by: Sophie Williamson-Stothert