COMPANIES serving the motor trade in the West Midlands are to benefit from an extra £59m from the Rover Task Force Fund.

The announcement was made yesterday by Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Stephen Byers before a visit to the Wyre Forest to discuss the concerns of businesses in the area.

The lunch meeting, attended by local MP David Lock, was organised by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

Chief executive Christine Jones warmly welcomed the announcement of the funds to support diversification into new markets and new areas of business for companies supporting the motor industry.

"When the Rover crisis was at its height, the release of emergency funding to aid the stricken component supply sector enabled Herefordshire and Worcestershire to gain access, for the first time, to funds normally only avail

able to the inner urban areas," she said.

"We warmly welcome this latest funding and look forward to further funds supporting some of the exciting regeneration technology corridor projects which will impact on the whole of Worcestershire in the future," she added.

Among the many people represented at the lunch were Barclays Bank in Worcester and Malvern Hills Science Park Ltd.