Bentley and Lotus boosted by grants

2011 Bentley Continental GTCLuxury car companies are among the businesses to benefit from the near-£1 billion of grants announced by the Government.

Bentley, based at Crewe in Cheshire, said its £3 million grant would safeguard more than 200 jobs.

And another luxury car company, Lotus, based at Hethel in Norfolk, was also on the list of companies that had been successful in getting a Regional Growth Fund (RGF) grant.

Bentley said its grant would help support the development of a new engine and would also create a small number of extra jobs within the company’s 900-strong engineering department.

Bentley chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Durheimer said: “This is a real boost for Bentley. This grant will help safeguard our (engineering) operations as we look to develop new powertrains which appeal to new markets and new customers.”

The latest grant, which follows an earlier £1.68 million RGF payment, will mean Bentley is making plans to increase its graduate and apprentice intake next year.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “This is a very significant boost to local communities, and the RGF will help businesses like Bentley drive local growth.”

The grants include help with the development of an engineering centre of excellence in Stafford for the development of power transmission products for electronics company Alstom Grid UK. There was also support for the design of a new family of engines at Jaguar Land Rover plants in Gaydon in Warwickshire and Whitley in Coventry.

Funding to reopen the Todmorden Curve will help provide a direct rail link between Burnley and Manchester.

Campaign for Better Transport’s chief executive Stephen Joseph said: “By filling in this infamous missing link on the rail network, Burnley and other Lancashire towns will get much quicker services to Manchester, improving access for employment and helping address the deprivation in the area.”

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