The jobs of 180 workers threatened by the closure of a County Durham car parts plant reportedly have been saved.

According to the BBC, Calsonic Kansei last month announced its decision to close its base in Shildon with the possibility of moving the operation overseas.

Over the last few weeks, the firm has worked with agencies to save jobs by transferring them to its neighbouring factory in Washington, the report said, adding that the negotiations mean all but 20 of the plant’s workers will keep their jobs.

Regional development agency One NorthEast has agreed a Selective Finance for Investment grant of £249,000 with the firm to support its future plans and protect most of the Shildon jobs, the BBC said.

Calsonic Kansei vice-president John Tweedlie reportedly said: “The fact that we have had a successful outcome is welcome news and we acknowledge and thank our employees for their support during this difficult time.

“I would also like to thank One NorthEast and the City of Sunderland Council for their support and assistance in arriving at a position which enables us to retain so many jobs in the region.”

The Tyne and Wear Development Company was also involved in the negotiations, the BBC said.