Jaguar Land Rover today confirmed plans for a £355million engine plant in Wolverhampton. Shaun Jepson reports.
There's been months of feverish speculation but today JLR finally cemented the news which the Midlands had desperately been waiting for – the creation of a brand new engine plant in Wolverhampton.
It is a decision that will give the region's economy the shot in the arm it so desperately needs.
The advanced engine facility at the i54 business park will manufacture a family of all-new advanced technology low-emission four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines in a "major commitment" to the region from the car giant.
The huge development at the i54, which has already been designated a growth-boosting Enterprise Zone, will create and secure thousands more jobs across the country in the supply chain.
It is expected that it will be operational within the next two years.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today confirmed about £10 million of Government support to bring the engine plant to Wolverhampton during a visit to the firm's site in Lode Lane, Solihull, with Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Mr Clegg described the decision by JLR to choose Wolverhampton for its new engine plant as a major manufacturing site was a strong show of support for the region and its manufacturing heritage.
He added: "The decision to build the new JLR plant in Wolverhampton is fantastic news."
JLR's interest in the site was first sparked early in the new year when it emerged that the i54 facility was in the running for the plant.
But it quickly became clear that the site was competing with other potential venues in south Wales and India.
The Government, local authorities and MPs in Wolverhampton and Staffordshire rallied together to do all they could to ensure the i54 was the preferred option.
Staffordshire County Council and Wolverhampton City Council showed a commitment to creating a slip road on and off the M54 while MPs met with ministers to ensure they were doing all they could to ensure the dream became a reality.