There is no fear for the future of the West Midlands - which will lead the UK into a new global economy Sir Bob Geldof predicted yesterday.

The creator of Live Aid and co-founder of the media production company Planet 24 said he felt deep sympathy for those who would lose their jobs with the closure of Peugeot's Ryton plant.

Speaking at the B2B Midlands conference at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, Sir Bob labelled the decline of UK manufacturing as inevitable, but that the region would bounce back.

He said: "We as a country will never compete with three billion poor people in the Far East - it's just the way it is.

"But of all the regions the manufacturing regions will recover first because they invented the world that we now live in.

"There's this culture and tradition of ideas here and buildings from here. This is no accident. It is centre of the fourth largest economy on the planet and is well placed to develop the new economy."

The former front man for the band Boomtown Rats added that he was hopeful that the workers at Ryton would be able to find work in new sectors.

He said: "I feel so sorry for those who will be out of work. I have had two fears in my life - poverty and loneliness. Trying to imagine not having work and with a family to support is terrible.

"But despite the growth of countries such as China and India, by 2040 this little island will still be the eighth largest economy in the world. Why? It is because it's hugely dynamic.

"The cultural traditions come from this area. There's no fear for the future here. On the way from the station they showed me new homes, new industrial estates and the large distribution centres which are signs of the new service industry emerging."

Sir Bob was speaking about his business success with Planet24, which created the Channel 4 morning show The Big Breakfast and, and his more recently established TV and publishing firm Ten Alps.

On the Ryton situation, Sir Bob added that workers should be encouraged to consider developing their own business ideas and should be supported to make them a success.

He called on Government to assist in the re-training and said foreign firms needed to take greater responsibility for the people they made redundant.

He said: "I believe foreign companies before they move in to the country should be asked to set up a fund that the workforce or the company contributes to so that, when that company moves on, there is money to retrain the workforce."