The famous Dulux dog will be at the ground-breaking ceremony for the plant which is due for completion in 2014.
The main construction contract is worth £25m and McAlpine fought off competition from Kier, Morgan Sindall and GMI to land the job.
The plant will produce famous brands like Dulux and become the new home to the company’s UK Decorative Paints operations.
At the end of 2014, AkzoNobel plans to close its current site in nearby Prudhoe and its manufacturing operations in Slough.
AkzoNobel’s UK Country Director, Guy Williams added: “We are delighted that the building of our world-class factory is commencing today. This is a huge step for AkzoNobel and for the region, and our new plant will be producing paint sustainably for generations to come.
“We’re immensely committed to ensuring we are also a good neighbour, and with that in mind will be looking for ways in which we can have more involvement here in Ashington, whether painting through our ‘Let’s Colour’ programme, or active employee engagement and mentoring schemes such as the Outward Bound Trust.
“This site and build gives us the opportunity to inspire the community, customers, and employees and to be an inspiring colour partner.”