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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 07:29 GMT 08:29 UK
Peugeot staff 'have good future'
Map of Peugeot plants in Coventry
The Stoke and Till Hill sites will remain when Ryton closes
The 2,300 workers at the doomed Peugeot plant have got good long-term prospects despite facing redundancy within a year, it is claimed.

The claims were made as unions prepared to meet management at the Ryton plant on Thursday following news that strike action is being considered by staff.

Councils and politicians believe local economic conditions and the nearby airport could help save the site.

Production resumed at the plant on Thursday after stopping for 24 hours.

Peugeot will continue to employ 1,000 people at two other Coventry bases when Ryton is closed.

The plant lies on the edge of Coventry, within the boundary of Warwickshire County Council and Rugby Borough Council, which are working with Coventry council to secure a future for the site.

Because of what's been going on in the car industry in recent years in Britain, the work force is tremendously skilful
John McGuigan, Coventry City Council

Workers comes from across the city, the county and beyond.

Councillor Gordon Collett, Rugby borough economic development cabinet member, said: "This is an extremely attractive site for any potential investors.

"It is at the centre of the motorway network nationally, has an airport just nearby, and is based in Warwickshire next to an increasingly buoyant city."

Warwickshire County Council leader Alan Farnell said: "We are extremely disappointed at the announcement from Peugeot, but...if the company does leave the site, we will continue to strive to ensure a major employment-led development continues on the 143 acres."

On Thursday Des Quinn, of the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G), said plans had been drawn up to fight Peugeot's plans to close the plant, which did not have to include strike action.

Aerial shot of Ryton plant
Some reckon there is a future for the 143-acre site next to an airport

"We are looking initially at a social and political campaign, which might involve disruption to car sales or Peugeot's operations," he said.

The three councils have met with Advantage West Midlands, the chamber of commerce, Learning and Skills Council and Job Centre Plus to discuss how the proposed closure would hit the region.

They were joined by Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson, who pledged government support.

Coventry City Council's regeneration director John McGuigan told Radio 4 he was confident that alternative jobs could be found for workers.

He said: "Because of what's been going on in the car industry in recent years in Britain, the work force is tremendously skilful and flexible.

"And people don't find it really difficult to actually get into new industry.

Single shift

"Again we're in the peculiar situation at the moment that because of the growth in the local economy we haven't actually got enough people to fill the jobs...and we're having to actually bring back people who've taken early retirement"

When Ryton ceases production next year, the firm will employ 1,000 people at the Tile Hill parts supply division and at its UK headquarters on Humber Road, Stoke, Coventry.

Stoke deals with company car supply, dealer training, administration, legal, and information technology. These serviced will continue and the site redeveloped with a new office block.

Production at Ryton will move to a single shift in July and halt completely in mid-2007.




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See how the Peugeot plant closure could affect the area



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