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Rover aid package boosts manufacturing sector

The Government's financial rescue package for the Midlands made available to counter the effects of the Rover/BMW crises last year is paying dividends for the manufacturing sector according to a report published today.

Manufacturers in the motor sector have received more than £2m of funding in the wake of BMW's sale of Rover last year and the resulting interruption to car production at Longbridge.

A report into the most recent phase of the Rover Task Force's supply chain support package, published by Birmingham University, reveals that a total of 55 companies received grants. Some 1,700 people received training and more than 200 manufacturing jobs were saved.

Companies taking part in the programme reported an average increase in business of 22% and believed it had both an immediate and long-term impact on the competitiveness of their manufacturing operations, the report says.

The Rover Task Force's supply chain support package is managed by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce's 'accelerate programme'. Chamber director David Draycott said: "While production was suspended on the Rover 75 companies seized the opportunity to train their workforces, introduce significant cultural changes and improve their business processes."

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