Hamid Salim, chair of the West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum’s Business Enterprise and Training Sub-Group says that the news that LDV is to restart production in July following a successful takeover by Weststar is some of the best economic news for a long time.
“This is excellent not just for the workforce but also for Washwood Heath where the vans are made. We are talking about one of the most deprived areas in the West Midlands with a high minority ethnic community,” said Hamid Salim.
“It is great news and we also praise the Government for the £5 million bridging loan that allowed Weststar from Malaysia the time they needed to finalise the deal.
“The long term benefits for the local economy in Washwood Heath and for the wider West Midlands economy are potentially huge. LDVs plans for environmentally friendly commercial vehicles are very exciting and we have the real prospect of Birmingham becoming a major global centre for the production of electric vans.
“After many months of almost wall to wall bad news this is a genuine cause for hope and celebration. Whilst we are pleased the company is still in business we understand that some people might be faced with redundancy and feel for anyone who is affected.”
He added that a number of years ago a trade mission supported by the West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum visited Malaysia and the LDV news was an example of the benefits from overseas trade links.
The West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum provides strategic advice to Advantage West Midlands and other partners on issues relating to minority ethnic entrepreneurship.