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WATCH; 4,000 JOBS BOOST - Double dose of good news.

Byline: By Stephen Hallmark and Dayle Crutchlow

EXCITING plans to generate 4,000 jobs in Coventry were today welcomed as fantastic news.

The Evening Telegraph revealed the multi-million pound boost yesterday and today business leaders and MPs said it was the best jobs news Coventry and Warwickshire had had for years.

A new firm called Delamar is taking over Jaguar's Browns Lane site, creating 2,000 highly skilled jobs.

And Jaguar, which is moving from Browns Lane in Allesley to its hi-tech research and development centre in Whitley, is linking up with developers to create a 780- acre science and business park with another 2,000 jobs.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, described it as "exciting news for the city".

She said: "There was a very strong feeling that eventually the Browns Lane site would be sold by Jaguar but the fact that it will remain as a site for manufacturing is very good news.

"Delamar's area of business is innovative and they have set out their intentions clearly with such a huge investment.

"The fact that they are intending to create up to 2,000 new jobs before the end of 2007 is exciting news for the area, although this will obviously depend on a number of factors.

"I understand that they chose the site in Coventry as their base because of the great location within the UK and they knew there was a highly-skilled workforce on their doorstep.

"This is testament to the city and the whole subregion and I believe this announcement will bring with it further confidence and optimism to the Coventry and Warwickshire economy.

"We look forward to working with Delamar to help their endeavours for the good of all parties."

And Brian Woods-Scawen, chairman of Coventry Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership, which promotes the growth and prosperity of the area, added: "The pounds 200 million investment that both Browns Lane and Whitley will receive is exactly what the city needs and is a real boost for the manufacturing sector in the West Midlands.

"The 4,000 jobs that will be created or safeguarded will utilise the skilled workforce that Coventry has and are jobs for the future.

"It means Browns Lane will continue to be a major employer and secures Jaguar's involvement in Coventry as well.

"Delamar is predicting it will employ more than 2,000 people on the site, working on 10 production lines by the end of the year.

"These new jobs will boost the city's and region's economy as well as having a knock-on effect for the supply industries.

"It is no surprise that the skilled workforce and location were two of the main reasons why Delamar has chosen Coventry and is another sign of the continued rebirth and momentum the city is experiencing."

Coventry North-west MP Geoffrey Robinson said the Jaguar jobs boost was "fantastic news" for the city.

He said: "It's potentially very, very good news and all of the city's MPs are right behind this exciting development."

Local resident Don Richards, a retired design engineer for Marconi, welcomed the news but was sorry the site wasn't being maintained as a base for car manufacturing.

The 70-year-old from Oak Lane, Pickford, said: "It's a long established site - Jaguar has been there for a lot of years. But I would still think this will be good for the area."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 23, 2006
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