The European Investment Bank has drawn up plans to lend up to 62 million euros to the city of Leipzig, in the former east Germany, funding preparatory ground-works for an industrial park, which would include a new car manufacturing plant, writes Keith Nuthall.

BMW and Porsche both have plans for new car plants in Leipzig.

The factory referred to by the EIB would be completed by 2004 in the north of the city on old farmland, renamed Industriepark Leipzig Nord.

The city council has already undertaken a full environmental impact assessment to prepare the area for industrial use.

Under German law, the authority must landscape or restore to nature a similar plot of land elsewhere.

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A bank memorandum said that the project would “contribute substantially to the development and reinforcement of the economic base of the city.”