THE Government is "absolutely committed" to safeguarding the future of Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant.

That's what Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs in response to calls for a “successful, renewed commitment” to the town's North Road factory, which employs around 1,000 people.

Last week parent company Stellantis confirmed that it was considering "different scenarios" for the future of the site, adding that discussions with UK officials have been "productive but not conclusive".

It is understood that the carmaker is looking at making electric vehicles at Ellesmere Port and is seeking financial incentives from the Government, along with commitments on the post-Brexit trade of auto parts including batteries.

Answering an urgent question yesterday on the future of Vauxhall and the topic of battery manufacturing, Mr Kwarteng told the Commons: “The Government is absolutely committed to ensuring the future of manufacturing at Ellesmere Port and to secure the jobs and livelihoods of the workers at the plant.

“Over the coming days and weeks, I myself, fellow ministers and officials at BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) will continue this intensive dialogue with the company.”

Mr Kwarteng told the Commons that the Government “remain dedicated, absolutely committed to securing UK battery manufacturing”.

He added: “To repeat, we are 100% committed to making sure that the UK continues to be one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing and we are doing all we can to protect and create jobs while securing a competitive future for the sector here in the UK, including Ellesmere Port.”

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Raising the issue in Parliament, Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders said the “importance of getting the right decision” would send out a signal about “where securing the future of the automotive sector stands in the Government’s priorities”.

He said: “I’m sure it’s clear to all just how much anxiety all this speculation has generated, but it will be worth it if it focuses the Government’s attention on the urgent need to deliver on a plan to ensure our great British car industry gets all the support it needs to move to electric vehicle production.

“So can I ask the Secretary of State (Mr Kwarteng) if he does understand the importance of getting the right decision not just for the people of Ellesmere Port but also for the signal it sends out about where securing the future of the automotive sector stands in the Government’s priorities?”

Mr Kwarteng responded: “I think (Mr Madders) is quite right. There are two issues here, there is a local issue and I can only imagine the uncertainty under which the excellent workers in his constituency and in that site are working under and there’s of course a national issue in terms of – and the question we have to ask ourselves is whether we are committed to actually having gigafactories in this country.

“We are 100% committed to that and I’m very hopeful that we can reach a satisfactory conclusion in terms of the continued investment and support for Stellantis in his constituency.”

Mr Kwarteng later told MPs: “What we want to see is a successful, renewed commitment to Ellesmere Port.”