David Cameron is to personally intervene to try to reverse tyre manufacturer Dunlop Motorsport’s plans to shift manufacturing abroad and axe 241 jobs in Birmingham .
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons he would do everything he could to keep the firm in the UK.
Unions, Birmingham City Council and city MPs have condemned Dunlop Motorsport Europe’s announcement that it is moving production from its Castle Bromwich site to Germany and France.
It has been forced to move from Castle Bromwich because the lease is due to expire in September and the premises have been bought by Jaguar Land Rover.
The city council has identified a number of alternative sites in Birmingham and the surrounding region where Dunlop could relocate, and Business Secretary Vince Cable has met senior Dunlop managers offering the Government’s support - which reportedly stretches to a grant to help with the cost of relocation.
But the business has issued a statement saying it is forced to move overseas because “no other appropriate site was available locally which would have provided continuity of supply to our key customers”.
David Cameron’s promise of personal intervention means the battle to keep the business in the city continues.
Asked by Erdington MP Jack Dromey (Lab Erdington) to intervene, Mr Cameron said he had been briefed on the issue shortly before coming to the Commons chamber to answer questions.
He said: “I was briefed on this issue just before coming to the Chamber. I am very happy to look carefully at it and see what can be done.
“The recovery of the automotive sector, particularly in the West Midlands . . . has been hugely welcome for our country.
“Dunlop is an historic name and an historic brand I’ll certainly do everything I can to work with the Business Secretary and him to get a good outcome.”
He was responding to Mr Dromey, who told the Prime Minister that the Business Secretary and Birmingham City Council have identified three sites and a financial package to that could be offered to Dunlop.
Pointing out that Dunlop had manufactured tyres in Birmingham since the time of Queen Victoria, Mr Dromey asked: “Will the Prime Minister join with the Business Secretary and I in urging Goodyear Dunlop to look at those alternatives and not walk away from 125 years of manufacturing history? ”