Rochdale-based Melling Sports Cars is lining up to bid for TVR’s closed manufacturing plant in Blackpool. 

The Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) has raised hopes that a deal could open up jobs for former TVR workers at the Lancashire plant. The T&G and Melling said that the bid was not guaranteed as the TVR administrators were operating a closed system involving sealed bids.

T&G regional industrial organiser Andy Robertson said:  “Melling’s bid is a welcome one which shows confidence in a workforce which has taken a fair share of blows in the last few months. This is a nerve wracking time, of course we are hopeful that the Melling bid is successful but, equally, we have our feet on the ground and will wait to see what the outcome of the administrators’ process is.”

Melling, which has strong links with TVR having in the past designed engines for the sportscar manufacturer, intends to keep making the TVR cars alongside some of its own models. The T&G said it understands that former TVR owner Nikolai Smolenski, who the union believes is looking to transfer of manufacturing from Blackpool to an undisclosed European location, has also lodged a bid.

On 8 January just-auto reported that newly renamed TVR manufacturing arm Blackpool Automotive would make its remaining 245 workers redundant, having laid off 158 workers last November.

Melling passed the first round of bidding last Friday, and is now awaiting the next stage on 23 February.