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Winning Aston Martin plant 'is priority' for city.

Byline: Graeme Brown Head of Business

BIRMINGHAM City Council's new leader said attracting Aston Martin was a priority as the fight to land the James Bond car-maker's new factory hots up.

Green belt land in Sutton Cold-field is among three sites in the running as the luxury-car maker looks to build a new plant - and potentially a new headquarters.

However, the Post understands that while Aston Martin favours Peddimore, in Minworth, it is the most expensive option on offer, with a site in Corby, Northamptonshire, thought to be among the alternatives.

Council leader John Clancy said, despite suggestions to the contrary by Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell, the authority was doing everything possible to attract Aston Martin.

The move could create at least 600 direct jobs and more than 3,000 in the supply chain.

Coun Clancy said: "I've been briefed a number of times over Aston Martin. It is absolutely a priority for me that the company which makes James Bond cars is based here in Birmingham.

"Our officers have been trying to put together as much assistance as possible to try to encourage the site to be here."

He said there were implications with regard to EU competition and public funding rules.

"We're doing all we can to ensure that great brand is based here. I know that Birmingham will be far better than any of the other sites. It may, however, come down to a matter of cost and land values. This city would embrace and welcome that global brand to this city."

The world-famous luxury car firm is understood to be interested in 40 hectares of land at Peddimore, which took years to secure from green belt.

The plant would be used to manufacture its new DBX crossover.

It is also thought Aston Martin has looked into moving its headquarters which is currently in Gaydon, Warwickshire, and somewhat land-locked from expansion.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is working with Aston Martin, and moves to Coventry and Wales have previ-ously been mooted. Birminghambased Tories have been putting pressure on the authority to act.

Sutton Coldfield MP Mr Mitchell previously opposed development in green belt but now that battle has been lost he has called for action.

He previously told the Post: "It is extremely important that Birmingham's planning department does everything possible to make it easy for Aston Martin to pick Sutton Coldfield."

Robert Alden, Conservative Party leader at the city council, added: "Other local authorities are bending over backwards to lower those costs as much as possible to encourage that investment which has the benefit of bringing employment and further tax revenues into the local economy."

"We need to make sure that no one can say Birmingham City Council did not do all it could to bring that company here."

The Post understands the city council is offering up the land at a significant discount, and Aston Martin are also being offered government grants to support the move.

It follows a recent reorganisation which saw the car maker shed 295 jobs.

Comment: Page 28


The proposed DBX

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 14, 2016
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