Multi-million-pound plans to make swathes of land at Port of Sunderland shovel-ready for development have been given the green light.

The final phase of the port’s Enterprise Zone enabling works, funded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, is expected to get started at Hendon Sidings – which has been renamed Trinity – Rail, Road & Sea, by the spring, after a planning application was approved last month.

The work will ready the 11-acre site – which enjoys unrivalled access to open sea, the rail network and road connections – for the arrival of developers in a wide range of industries and is part of a wider strategy to attract more investment into the municipally-owned hub.

The planning application was lodged for a range of works that will put in place vital infrastructure to prepare the site for development.

It is the last of three projects delivered at the port thanks to the backing of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is designed to attract potential investors and provide an incentive to those looking to establish a long-term operation at Port of Sunderland.

As well as benefiting from significant infrastructure improvements, the development will also benefit from the reintroduction of commercial rail freight services to the port, which last year saw the first commercial cargo train load up at the hub in over two decades.

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of Port of Sunderland, said: “Continued investment into Port of Sunderland has seen occupancy rates swell over recent years, creating hundreds of jobs, and the development of Trinity – Rail, Road & Sea will play a key role in helping us build on our success as we plan for the future.

“From global maritime services giant Boskalis to sustainable recycling specialists Wastefront and Quantafuel, the expansion of the port and ongoing infrastructure improvements have made the estate a highly investible proposition for businesses looking to capitalise on its strategic position on the North Sea coast and the city’s skilled workforce and this latest development will ensure we are able to maximise the economic advantage the port can provide the city and the wider region.”

Located to the west of the port, Trinity offers a range of advantages for investors who choose the site, including enhanced capital allowances.

It is the final phase of work, after programmes of infrastructure works were rolled out on the port’s East Shore site, as well as improvements to road connections around the estate.

Andrew Moffat CBE, chair of the investment board at the North East LEP, said: “I’m delighted to see Port of Sunderland, with its revitalised development sites and re-connected rail freight facility, now offering a range of attractive portside investment opportunities and importantly, regional facilities that are enabling freight to move from road to rail.

“This final phase of enabling works will open the door to significant inward investment opportunities and support the growth of many of our key sectors, including energy and advanced manufacturing.

“Trinity – Rail, Road & Sea is one of 21 sites that make up the North East Enterprise Zone.

“Since 2014, the North East LEP has invested £69m through the Enterprise Zone programme to create strategic development zones across the region that deliver more and better jobs and improve the economic prospects of the North East.”