Jobs hope with new Stoke-on-Trent truck-building factory
Plans have been revealed for a truck-building factory in Stoke-on-Trent which may create hundreds of jobs.
The proposed plant in Longton, which could open in 2013, has been planned by a group of Staffordshire businessmen.
They have formed Longton Avia, which has worked with Indian manufacturer Avia Ashok Leyland to make "Longton" trucks in Prague in the Czech Republic.
The firm, which has a distribution base in Longton, said it had been looking for a new site for an assembly plant.
Local historian Fred Hughes
Longton was the most industrial of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent. When you entered the town, you were in this cauldron of black smoke, heavy industry and noise.
This was a place full of pot banks including famous names such as Aynsley and Gladstone. There was even a coal mine within 100 yards of the town centre at Daisy Bank.
It was a place where industry came to first and then people followed. Of course there were houses and shops, but these were basically cheek-by-jowl with the factories.
But it has retained some of the best architecture in the city. Its central street The Strand has wonderful Victorian buildings.
Prague will initially continue to be the production centre, but there are hopes Longton will also produce trucks.
Longton Avia commercial director, Jonathan Dale, said British manufacturing was "not dead".
He added: "We're making I understand far more vehicles in the UK than we have done for many, many [years] and this is part of the revival."
Avia Ashok Leyland said Longton had a "long history of engineering pedigree in the UK".
Nigel Base from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said: "Entering any new market I think is a challenge, but nonetheless I think there are also great opportunities.
"It is a recovering market and I think with the right investment and the right quality of products I think there's a real opportunity here."