By Denna Bowman
Pirelli has announced a £9 million investment injection to upgrade of its tyres plant in Cumbria.
Six years ago the Carlisle factory looked in danger of skidding off road due to job losses brought about by a fall in demand for its premium brand tyres.
However, last week the Italian tyre manufacturer confirmed it is in new process of investing millions in new machinery to increase productivity which could secure existing jobs.
Rob Johnson, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said the announcement was “tremendous” for Carlisle.
He added: “I think it’s about making sure that the factory is viable in the longer term in a location like Carlisle.
“They’re investing in future new technology tyres and the plant to manufacture them in. I think it’s a testament to the Carlisle work force.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the announcement was a “boost to British business and a vote of confidence in the UK”.
Earlier this year Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), submitted a Government funding bid which helped Pirelli win £2m from a regional growth funding cash pot.
This funding played a key role in unlocking the Italian investment.
Mr Johnston said: “What is significant about this news is that it enables the next generation of ecologically sound tyres to be made, and by getting this investment into Carlisle it secures the future of the factory.”