A Birmingham-based manufacturing think-tank which sacked its director over allegations of making pornography has launched a search for his replacement.

The Manufacturing Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, terminated the contract of James Bentley after he was arrested by police.

Mr Bentley, aged 54, was questioned by officers from West Midlands Police's High Tech Crime Unit at Solihull Police Station on Friday.

He was arrested on suspicion of making and possessing indecent images, and was sacked for breach of his contract following a board meeting on Monday.

The organisation, which has five employees and five board members, plans to hold a meeting on Friday to discuss its management arrangements.

The Manufacturing Foundation receives £300,000 a year from Advantage West Midlands, but is not directly linked to the regional development agency.

The money, which has been paid since it was set up in 2001, will run until March next year, when it is expected to become self-funding.

A spokesman for AWM said: "Discussions are in place to determined how the research function of the Manufacturing Foundation is retained and ways it can go beyond march 2005.

"We are keen for it retain it research work; it has done some good work and we would like it to continue."

Mr Bentley, who was released on police bail until February, was unavailable for comment yesterday.