Trade Secretary Stephen Byers is to unveil a £2 million package of aid to help companies which supply goods to car giant Rover.
Mr Byers is due to visit firms in the West Midlands, fresh from being cleared by a Commons select committee that he knew of BMW’s shock plans to break-up Rover.

The aid package will help retrain workers and offer them the chance to learn new skills.

Supply companies will be offered advice on how to win new orders to make up for lost business at the huge Longbridge plant in Birmingham.

Mr Byers is also due to meet union officials who held talks in Munich on Thursday with BMW bosses.

The unions are seeking assurances that BMW would consider any new bids for Rover, as speculation mounted that ex-Rover boss John Towers was on the verge of announcing plans to rival those of Alchemy, the venture capitalist firm bidding to tie-up the Rover sale by the end of the month.

The Trade Secretary will attend a meeting on Saturday of the Task Force he has set up to help regenerate the West Midlands in the aftermath of the likely job losses at Longbridge.

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