TALKS to guarantee the survival of Ellesmere Port's Vauxhall factory have been "extremely positive", says the man who will ultimately help decide its future.

Carlos Tavares, the head of Stellantis, the world's fourth largest carmaker encompassing 14 car brands including Vauxhall, said discussions between the company and the UK Government on ensuring the Ellesmere Port plant will continue to manufacture cars had made good progress.

But, he added, more was needed to seal the deal and safeguard the future for the North Road plant, which employs 800 workers and has thousands more dependent on the factory's output.

We revealed last month the Ellesmere Port factory could close within the next year if it does not secure the right to build electric vehicles.

That is because Stellantis plan to phase out manufacturing the current Vauxhall Astra, which uses a traditional internal combustion engine, during that time.

The decision came about as the UK Government announced that, as part of efforts to cut emissions, it was banning the sale of cars with conventional engines from 2030.

That scuppered Stellantis' plans to build a new Astra model at Ellesmere Port with a traditional ICE.

Speaking at a Financial Times Future of the Car Summit last week, Stellantis chief executive said talks with the Government to secure the plant's future were "extremely positive and productive", but he was waiting for the Government to approve certain measures before the final investment decision can be made.

That would see investment into the plant, giving it the capability to manufacture new models of electric vehicles.

He said: "What I want to say for Ellesmere Port is that so far things are moving in the right direction, but we cannot conclude until we have the approvals from the relevant administrations who actually have the power to say yes or no.

"We are now expecting that a certain number of approvals will be given by the UK administration."

Previously, the Government said last month that it is "absolutely committed" to safeguarding the future of the plant.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng made the comments to MPs in response to calls for a “successful, renewed commitment” to the site.

Also at the summit, Mr Tavares explained that each of the 14 car brands Stellantis owns would be given 10 years to show they had the long-term potential to succeed.

In addition to Vauxhall (also known as Opel), Stellantis owns Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, Peugeot and Ram.