Work has started on a new Rolls Royce plant which will be at the forefront of aerospace technology.
The plant is being built in Washington, safeguarding hundreds of jobs at the firm's existing Wearside base.
Business Secretary Vince Cable marked the start of construction.
More top news
The Met Office have issued a yellow "Be Aware" warning of strong winds for the region for Sunday into Monday
Emma Jesson brings you Saturday night's forecast
Christmas Eve could be rather frosty and at present, Christmas Day looks like being cold and clear with one or two wintry showers