115m Ford project secures jobs

Hundreds of jobs have been secured after Ford said it would spend 115m building transmission systems at its factory in Halewood, Merseyside.
The deal, which beat off competition from Europe, has been hailed as "great News for Merseyside" by the Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

About 730 jobs are thought to have been safeguarded as a result.

Meanwhile, the Transport Union said General Motors is cutting 340 jobs at the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port.

Speaking about the Ford announcement, Ms Hewitt said: "This is great News for Merseyside and demonstrates the government's commitment to high-value manufacturing.

World class facility

"The investment will help this facility to establish itself as a globally competitive site and safeguard over 730 jobs, helping increase and improve local skills."

Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the North West Development Agency, said the announcement was "exciting News" for Merseyside and the North West.

Ford vice president John McDonald said: "Merseyside is an important European location and we are delighted that we will now enhance our presence here with this important project which will result in a world class manufacturing facility."

The project has also been welcomed by the Transport Union.

National secretary Dave Osborne said: "This is great News for Halewood and a welcome vote of confidence in a first class workforce.

"It demonstrates the capacity for UK manufacturing to compete in Europe and win welcome investment."

The union pointed out that it still remained concerned by Ford's actions in relation to Jaguar, where the future of 1,000 jobs at the Browns Lane plant in Coventry is under threat.