Hopes of Dunlop Motorsport remaining in Birmingham are fading after the company announced its factory would close this year.
The Birmingham Post understands production will end in May at the Castle Bromwich plant, ahead of a closure in September, plunging 300 jobs into jeopardy, and there is currently no alternative site in the city for work to transfer to.
The company has formed a steering committee to decide on the future of the work, but the news is a further blow to workers who have been left in the dark for the past seven months since Jaguar Land Rover bought the site.
Erdington MP Jack Dromey said the firm needs to make a pledge “within weeks”, as there is little realistic chance of organising a move across the city without prompt action.
However, with every passing day that seems less likely.
Goodyear Dunlop’s marketing and communications director James Bailey told the Post: “We have formed a steering committee, consisting of local and global management, and it is a group that is going to come to a consensus decision on the next step.”
The company has not confirmed a date for the end of production, although Mr Bailey confirmed that it would have to be in time to clear the site by September after Jaguar Land Rover bought the leased property from a Northern Irish pension fund as part of expansion plans.
JLR had agreed a three-month extension to the company’s lease at the Ashold Farm Road site, but there will not be another one.
It is believed that there is a factory in France which Dunlop Motorsport production could be shifted to, but it does not have the full capacity of the Birmingham site.
Mr Dromey said a new site had been identified by Birmingham City Council and Dunlop less than three miles away in Aston but the tyre giant had 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.”
The Post understands that while potential sites were suggested, there was no financial incentives offered as funding is based on job creation, rather than safeguarding posts.
Mr Bailey said: “We have always said that first of all we wanted to stay in Birmingham, which is why we made a long-term offer to stay on the site. We have been looking at local options and 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 make a decision. Now we have got the information that there is a three-month extension that will help to make that decision more quickly.”