By Martin Walker
Newton Aycliffe car parts maker Gestamp Tallent has been handed a Government cash boost to address skills shortages.
Six companies nationwide have been shortlisted to share a £5.4m cash pot to strengthen the automotive industry.
Business Secretary Vince Cable revealed Gestamp Tallent was included in the list of firms which will get the Government-industry investment to win and keep work with large vehicle manufacturers.
That figure includes a £2.7m Government investment from the Employer Ownership Fund automotive supply chain competition, which is matched by firms.
Speaking at a CBI event in London, Mr Cable also announced a further £10m of Government money would be made available in a new funding round.
He said: “Through our industrial strategy we are working in partnership with the automotive sector as it goes from strength-to-strength.
“Our new funding will build on this progress and help to lock in sustainable growth in the supply chain.
“On average only a third of parts going into vehicles manufactured here are sourced from the UK.
“With a potential £3bn in opportunities identified for UK-based vehicle and engine manufacturers, we need to strengthen our supply chain to take advantage of this opportunity.”
The other firms to benefit from the first round were Nifco in Eaglescliffe, Unipres in Sunderland, Benteler in Corby, Brose in Coventry and Getrag in Halewood.
Applications for the second round of the Employer Ownership Fund for the auto supply chain – worth £10m – will open from 3rd November 2014.
Gestamp Tallent employs 1,250 people at its site on Aycliffe Business Park and produces components for Volvo, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Honda, VW, Mercedes and BMW.
• The news comes on the same day Ford announced a new £190m investment in its engine plant at Dagenham. Supported by £8.9m from the Regional Growth Fund, Ford is creating 318 jobs connected with the investment.