Birmingham & Black Country

MP backs Wolverhampton for new Jaguar Land Rover plant

Wolverhampton is the only UK option for Jaguar Land Rover's (JLR) new engine plant, a business minister has said.

The car manufacturer was previously believed to have been considering sites in south Wales, the West Midlands or in India.

The factory could create up to 600 jobs with 400 more in the supply chain.

Mark Prisk, minister of state for business and enterprise, said he believed the south Wales option had now been ruled. JLR refused to comment.

Mr Prisk said: "I think you'll find the only option is Wolverhampton.

"It may have been Wales in the past. At this stage the negotiation is between here [Wolverhampton] and India."

'Industrial Revolution's heart'

The Conservative minister said although India could supply cheaper labour, Wolverhampton had a higher skill base.

He added: "We are, after all, at the heart of what was the Industrial Revolution."

The company, which is owned by Indian motoring giant Tata, has factories in Castle Bromwich and Solihull, both in the West Midlands, in Halewood in Merseyside, and its UK headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Mr Prisk said compared to India, the UK had a mature car manufacturing industry and a strong support network of suppliers that would make it an attractive place to base further car manufacturing.

He said his department had been working with the Automotive Council UK to help strengthen the supply chain.

A JLR spokesman said: "We have ambitious plans for growth and there are many matters relating to this. At this stage we have no further comment to add."

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