Plans for one of the biggest co-operatives in the UK to save the jobs of 200 Midland disabled workers have won a vote of confidence.
Proposals for a social enterprise project for the disabled at Remploy automotive plants in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby cleared a hurdle after an initial bid was accepted.
The project will now go to a second bid, and a final decision is likely by August. If the plan is endorsed, around 200 disabled workers in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby will set up a co-operative making car parts for global car manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover.
A confidential bidding process is being overseen by KPMG, the Remploy board and the Department for Work and Pensions after the future of the factories was plunged into jeopardy by Government cuts.
A total of 34 Remploy factories closed last year after the Government stopped funding but the factories in Garretts Green, Coventry and Derby survived to enable workers to draw up the co-op plan.