New Vauxhall Astra creates 300 jobs at Ellesmere Port

More than 300 jobs will be created at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant as the new model leaves the production line.

The Astra sports tourer contract also gives job security to the 2,500 workers already based at the Cheshire factory.

Less than a year ago there were fears the plant would have to be wound up as the industry faltered during the economic crisis.

Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, said it was "brilliant news for British manufacturing".

It has been agreed that 142,000 cars will come off the production line in the the next few years, creating a third shift which is due to start in the new year.

'Turned a corner'

"It's not often we get a good news story like this, so lets make the most of it," Mr Woodley said.

"Not only does this create another 300 jobs, it will have a positive impact on the hundreds of component firms across Britain who will supply the plant.

"We want to make sure that we continue to keep up the capacity even if sales, as they do, start to decrease.

"Last year, when General Motors filed for administration, the future was not bright but it has since recovered and Ellesmere Port is an integral part of the car industry's recovery."

The launch manager of the Astra sports tourer, Sean Buckley, said the model "was the best car" they had "ever produced".

"It secures jobs for our workers for the next few years. Last year was a very nervous time, but now we have a turned a corner, with this model the future now looks better for us."

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