The announcement today that Vauxhalls Ellesmere Port is to build the new generation Astra is absolutely tremendous and is reward for the commitment shown by the employers who work at the site. I know that many of the employees live in my constituency, and it’s not only good news for them it is good news for the whole area, securing existing jobs and hopefully creating many more.
Over the last few months I have had many meetings with the Business Secretary Vince Cable and Mark Prisk the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise stressing the need for the Ellesmere Port site to remain open. We have all been working behind the scenes in order to make today’s outcome possible.
We have to remember that under Labour, manufacturing declined three times faster than during the 1980s so when the Coalition Government came into power we said one of our key concerns was to rebalance the economy, increase manufacturing and increase exports and build business. We need to ensure we build on these local successes so that the growth is bedded into the local community with associated supply chains and increased employment.
The Government is helping Britain become more business focussed and more growth focussed by reducing Corporation tax, supporting and funding apprenticeships, offering financial assistance through the Regional Growth Fund and establishing University Technical Colleges to educate the next generation of youngsters move into engineering, manufacturing and science.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has praised Vauxhall Ellesmere Port’s workforce after it was announced the new generation Astra is to be built at the plant.
Mr Cameron said: “This is excellent news for Ellesmere Port and for UK manufacturing. “Once again we have seen the success of the UK automotive industry and the crucial role it plays in growing and rebalancing our economy.
“This has been a real team effort with the government, the company, unions and workers all focused on keeping production in the UK. “And the workforce at Ellesmere Port should take great pride in their skill, hard work and commitment which has proved vital to ensuring this great result today.”