A MULTI-million pound package to boost manufacturing excellence was expected to be unveiled today as Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers toured Worcestershire.

He was tipped to explain how tens of millions of pounds left over from the £129m promised to the Rover Task Force would be spent in the county as he met business leaders and factory bosses.

His visit came a year to the day that BMW announced it was to sell Rover.

He was due to make his announcement at the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union Manufacturing Conference, in West Bromwich, before moving on to Kidderminster's Stone Manor Hotel.

There he was expected to meet representatives from the Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire & Worcestershire, before moving north to Stourbridge to tour three manufacturing companies.

"The critics wrote off Longbridge, but we're working hard to build a brighter future," said AEEU general secretary Sir Ken Jackson, ahead of the visit.

The Rover Task Force was set up at the height of the crisis at Longbridge, which employs hundreds of Worcestershire workers.

It has already been credited with saving more than 1,500 automotive component jobs in the region.

The first round of the Government's emergency aid package earmarked £6m for 149 companies in the region which were dependent on Rover for 20 per cent of their business.

The second tranche, introduced last month, included Rover suppliers nationwide.