Lotus Cars plans up to 1,200 new jobs in five years

Up to 1,200 jobs could still be created at Lotus Cars in Norfolk despite the company losing a £27.5m bid for government money, the firm has said.

Group Lotus chief executive Dany Bahar said the sports car manufacturer still had a five-year investment plan although job cuts were being made in the short term.

Lotus has now applied for £10.4m of funding from the Regional Growth Fund.

"In five years we should grow between 600 and 1,200 jobs," said Mr Bahar.

"The reduction of a few jobs is to simply size the business to the current output we have."

But he said the workforce would grow to suit its future output.

Mr Bahar unveiled the news as he gave Business Secretary Vince Cable a tour of Lotus Cars' manufacturing facility in Hethel on Monday morning.

The company said the number of new jobs created would be partly down to whether the money, which would be used for research and development, was granted.

'Good operation'

In June the company said that back office jobs would go at the plant as part of plans to "boost efficiency".

A spokesperson for Lotus Cars said a number of short-term job cuts were being made but would not reveal exactly how many posts were involved.

The spokesperson said recruitment for new positions was already being sought.

On his visit Mr Cable wished Lotus the best in their efforts to secure government funding, which is being put under independent assessment.

"I wish them well because they've clearly got a very good operation here," he said.

"We do need companies like Lotus. The British car industry was written off years ago and is now really reviving."

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