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Plan for luxury car maker TVR to open new factory in Gwent appear to have stalled

How the TVR factory could look.
How the TVR factory could look.

HOPES that luxury sports car manufacturer TVR will be setting up a factory in Blaenau Gwent seem to have crashed.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Place scrutiny committee on Tuesday, December 5, councillors were told that a deal that favoured TVR setting up at the former Techboard factory on the Rassau Industrial Estate has ended.

Cllr Wayne Hodgins asked: “Have we had any response from Welsh Government regarding the situation with TVR locating to the borough?”

Corporate director for regeneration and community services, Ellie Fry said: “We haven’t had a definitive answer from Welsh Government.

“But what they have said is that their (TVR’s) exclusive rights to be able to rent the Techboard building have now lapsed.

“They (TVR) could still rent it if they wanted to, but it will actually go to the market as well.

“They have not said anything about TVR and whether they have decided not to come or still want to come.

“The Welsh Government have just decided they will put the building on the market.”

Cllr Hodgins believed it was “reasonably good news” that the Techboard building could be put on the open market to rent.

“There are companies that are desperate for bigger spaces – so perhaps we could line them up as that building could provide an opportunity,” said Cllr Hodgins.

Ms Fry said: “We’ve had a number of enquiries over the past six months for a building of that size – we will be definitely looking at all those enquires.

“It’s a popular size as there are few buildings like this available in South East Wales.”

Committee chairman, Cllr Malcolm Cross said: “I’m really disappointed.

“When it was announced it was going to be such a substantial inward investment into Blaenau Gwent.

“We have this new skill centre (HIVE) opening in the near future and it would have been great to have it involved – because it would give youngsters opportunity to train in highly skilled jobs.

“We would have had a company that could employ them instead of them having to move out of Blaenau Gwent to get good employment.”

Back in 2017 it was announced that the Welsh Government had bought the 2,000 square foot factory site in Ebbw Vale.

Following refurbishment TVR were meant to lease the building from the Welsh Government.

It had been expected that the firm would create 200 jobs there.

Three years ago, it was announced that refurbishment of the site would be done by Jones Brothers (Henllan) Limited.

Work fitting out the building started in September.

It is believed that TVR need to raise £25 million in order to be able to manufacture their “Griffith” sports car at the site.

The Welsh Government and TVR have both been contacted for comment.