Longbridge will qualify for industrial aid under European Union rules, but Peugeot's Ryton site in Coventry will be excluded even though it is set to close in January.

The final map of areas eligible for Government funding to support local businesses was published by Trade and Industry Minister Margaret Hodge yesterday.

Under European Union rules, governments are only allowed to provide regional state aid to firms in the most deprived regions. Last year #100 million was granted to UK firms.

However, aid is now to be diverted to poor countries from E astern Europe which recently joined the European Union.

As a result, a number of areas of Britain which previously qualified for support will now miss out.

Birmingham, including the former Rover plant at Longbridge, will continue to be eligible until at least 2013, along with Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and north Solihull.

Most of Coventry will also be eligible, but not the Ryton plant itself.

Peugeot announced yesterday that production at Ryton would cease in January 2007. It had been expected that the plant, which employs 2,300 staff, would stay open until next summer. It may still qualify for other forms of support.

Mrs Hodge said: "We have had the difficult job of prioritising areas eligible for regional aid, with a 20 per cent cut in the overall coverage of the UK.

"We set out to make regional aid available where it is needed most to expand industry and maintain jobs. We listened hard, and we made changes to reflect local views wherever we could.

"We had tough choices to make, but I believe we have reached the best balance we could between the needs of areas and the opportunities in those areas."

A Department of Trade and Industry spokesman said key areas of the West Midlands including Longbridge, the LDV plant in Hodge Hill and Jaguar's Castle Bromwich plant would still qualify for aid.

All western EU members will see their coverage fall, many of them more sharply than in the UK.

Coverage in France will reduce from 36.7 per cent of the population to 18.4 per cent and coverage in the Republic of Ireland from 100 per cent to 50 per cent. In Britain, coverage will fall from 30.9 per cent to 23.9 per cent of the population. Three entire disadvantaged regions will qualify: Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, West Wales and the Valleys, and the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

* Anger at Ryton. Click here for story.

* Geldof backs Midlands revival. Click here for story.