A group of business leaders and public figures in Coventry and Warwickshire has acted quickly to help deal with the impact of the Ryton closure.

A new organisation called the Peugeot Partnership met for the first time yesterday just 24 hours after Peugeot's announcement.

The group is chaired by Brian Woods-Scawen, the chairman of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership (CSWP) which will lead the subregion's response.

Alan Johnson, Trade and Industry Secretary, joined the first meeting of the Partnership which saw the announcement of a three-point plan for the sub-region.

The group wants to work with Peugeot to establish the impact on the workforce and suppliers and to develop plans to ease the effect of the announcement.

It says it will ensure those affected by the closure will be guaranteed advice and support with jobs and training and that firms supplying Peugeot can restructure their business models.

The final point of the plan is to ensure all local agencies work together closely within the part-nership to continue to secure investment into the area over the next ten years, including working with the planning authorities on the future use of the Ryton site.

Mr Woods-Scawen said: "Like all the partners, I was disappointed with the lack of prior consultation from Peugeot as this announcement came out of the blue.

"That said, within 24 hours all the key partners have met and agreed with the Secretary of State, Alan Johnson, and with Advantage West Midlands the actions we need to take to manage this.

"Many people under-standably will be shocked at the scale of job losses. The announcement will be a blow to the workforce and their families.

"But Coventry and Warwickshire is an attractive location for investment and by continuing to create jobs at the current rate of 10,000 each year we can make sure those affected can be hopeful that there will be high-quality jobs available, after retraining if necessary."

Other agencies involved in the Peugeot Partnership include the Learning & Skills Council, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Job Centre Plus, Advantage West Midlands, the Government Office for the West Midlands, the DTI, Coventry University and the University of Warwick as well as Coventry City, Warwickshire County and Rugby Borough councils.