A £7 Million plan to help workers and firms in Wales hit by the Rover
shake-up will be discussed today (Thursday) by members of the Welsh
Automotive Forum Task Force.

They will meet in Bridgend as the BMW Board in Munich decides if it
will sell Rover to Alchemy this week or delay a decision and give more time to the Phoenix consortium to finance its bid.

The Welsh Task Force meeting today has already identified where money
needs to be spent and confidentially knows the local firms most likely to be hit by Rover cuts. Estimates of Welsh losses in component firms vary between 1,500 and 4,000 out of about 25,000.

Welsh Automotive Forum chief executive Tim Williams said yesterday,
“We have drawn up a £7 M programme over three years to assist workers
and firms cope with the potential losses. Part of that will go in retraining workers and helping firms find new business and now we must find a way to raise this money from a variety of sources.” He added, “We believe it can only be done through massive assistance
from central government and we hope that the National Assembly will
press for a share of the assistance package which Mr Byers has outlined for the Midlands.”

Last week, the DTI said Wales would get a share out of assistance but
the amount was unknown. The Welsh Task Force will be holding further meetings with the DTI and Assembly once today’s decision in Munich is taken by BMW.