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Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt today announced £1.9
million of grant aid towards a new £15 million press shop
installation at Vauxhall's car manufacturing plant in Ellesmere Port.

The grant aid, from the Selective Finance for Investment in England
scheme, will help Vauxhall install a new 'contiguous' press shop to
make large Astra pressings on site and safeguard the longer-term
future of Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port manufacturing operation.

Announcing the funding, Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia
Hewitt, said:

"Vauxhall's decision to invest further in its Ellesmere Port plant
demonstrates that the UK remains a location of choice for the
competitive manufacture of motor vehicles in Europe. The £1.9
million grant-aid provided by the Northwest Regional Development
Agency will help secure that investment and safeguard 194 jobs and
Vauxhall's future in Ellesmere Port. "

The Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port is one of the largest employers
in Cheshire and Wirral employing 4,000 workers and makes nearly
185,000 vehicles a year, half of which are exported.

Steven Broomhead, the NWDA's Chief Executive said:

"The automotive industry is of key strategic importance to the
regional economy and the NWDA is committed to driving forward the
competitiveness and productivity of this vital sector. The SFIE
scheme has enabled us to do exactly that and we are pleased to
support the expansion of Vauxhall at Ellesmere Port, improving the
efficiency of manufacture at the company and boosting employment."
Today's announcement will help improve the competitiveness of the
Ellesmere Port press shop as part of a wider strategy by the company
to reduce the volume of parts transported between sites.

Notes for editors

1. In May 2003 GM announced an £80million investment at its Ellesmere
Port plant to enable production of the 5th generation Astra and also
to make the plant flexible to enable variants of the Astra and Vectra
on the same production line.

2. Ellesmere Port was responsible for 8% of GMEs output in 2004, the
UK balance made at IBC Luton.

3. Vauxhall sold 325,000 cars in 2004 to take 12.7% of the market.
Astra was the 6th best seller in UK for the year as a whole at
85,087.

4. The application was appraised by the NWDA under Selective Finance
for Investment in England, which is available in all the Assisted
Areas, to support new capital investment projects for growth and jobs
that would not otherwise happen in these Areas. Similar schemes
operate in Scotland and Wales.

5. The NWDA is responsible for the sustainable economic development
and regeneration of England's Northwest and has 5 key priorities:
Business Development, Regeneration, Skills & Employment,
Infrastructure and Image.
 

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Bazzer_Mcbead said:
Basically handing the cash on a Silver platter to GM... Nice.
Small beer this surely compared to what MGR need. Also GM are closing factories so at least Ellesmere looks as it its staying for a few years.
 
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