Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 13:48 UK

Cash to help car components firms

A £3.5m package to help struggling automotive suppliers in the West Midlands has been unveiled.

Firms can apply for up to £50,000 to bring in consultants.

Advantage West Midlands, which would provide some money, said it was anticipated the scheme would safeguard up to 1,000 jobs in the supply chain.

Several automotive components firms have gone into administration across the region, including Wagon Automotive last December.

About 2,000 jobs have been lost at Jaguar Land Rover in the Midlands since last year.

Administrators have been negotiating with potential buyers of LDV, the Birmingham van maker which went into administration in June with the loss of more than 800 jobs at its Washwood Heath plant.

Changing economy

The European Regional Development Fund would provide money for the Automotive Recovery scheme, which would look to help more than 120 companies.

The initiative was confirmed at a meeting of the West Midlands Taskforce, which looks at how the region is responding to the changing global economic situation.

It includes representatives from government, businesses, regional development agencies, local authorities and trade unions.

Regional Minister for the West Midlands Ian Austin chairs the group, which was set up last November.

Advantage West Midlands said the project would be delivered by two government-funded agencies, the Manufacturing Advisory Service and Accelerate.

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