Goodyear Dunlop must make a pledge to stay in Birmingham ‘within weeks’ or risk losing 125 years of history, says Erdington MP Jack Dromey.
The Labour MP has thrown down the gauntlet to the tyre giant’s Ohio-based bosses following the announcement that the Birmingham factory is to close.
Dunlop Motorsport has been granted a three-month extension to stay on its current site at Castle Bromwich until September, but production is set to cease in May.
The crisis, which has plunged around 300 tyre jobs into jeopardy, follows the purchase of the Ashold Farm Road site by Jaguar Land Rover to meet its expansion plans in the area.
Talks over the relocation of the 125-year-old plant started in early 2013 but to date Dunlop has not committed to any one proposal. A new site has been identified by Birmingham City Council and Dunlop less than three miles away in Aston but the tyre giant has failed to sign up to a deal.
Mr Dromey said: “The Dunlop Factory is truly remarkable in the world of motorsport, as a large local employer and as an iconic part of Birmingham and Britain’s industrial life. That is why it is of real concern that after over a year of discussions, the future of Dunlop in Birmingham remains uncertain.
“Birmingham City Council has with Dunlop identified an alternative site in Aston that is less than three miles from the current plant, but Dunlop at global level continues to delay making a decision.
“Clarity for the workforce and Birmingham more widely is essential and I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Goodyear Dunlop.
“Dunlop must commit to Birmingham within weeks or 125 years of history will be lost.”
Dunlop Motorsport marketing and communications director James Bailey said: “We have been working closely with Birmingham City Council and private property agencies to look at local sites. It is now down to the board to decide.”