Dunlop Motorsport Europe says the decision to end tyre production in the UK city of Birmingham with the loss of 241 jobs, does not affect its non-racing operations in Britain, where it continues to employ more than 700 people.

The manufacturer will transfer its tyre production from Erdington, Birmingham, next to the landmark Fort Dunlop site, to other plants in its European manufacturing network, with the company's lease on the facility expiring on 1 September this year.

"Our landlord sold the site and we were forced to move," a Dunlop spokesman told just-auto. "We did look at the option of building a new factory in the UK, but with the situation we found ourselves in...[we decided] to move production of motorcycle tyres in France [Montlucon] and car racing tyres to Hanau in Germany.

"We have found ourselves in a position we did not want to be in - we had made a long-term offer to our landlord to remain on the site. We are working very closely with Unite in the consultation process."

Dunlop's landlord is the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers Pension Fund and the manufacturer says despite its preference to stay on its Birmingham site "this has not proved possible."

Media speculation has centred on a possible move by Jaguar Land Rover onto the site for expansion of its Castle Bromwich factory, although the automaker was not immediately available for comment to verify the reports.

The proposal remains subject to consultation with Trade Union representatives and has been shared with Dunlop's European Central Works Council.