WEST Midlands Labour MEP Neena Gill today welcomed the long-awaited announcement from the European Investment Bank (EIB) that desperately needed funding for the UK car industry will be made available.

Flagship West Midlands firm Jaguar Land Rover has been earmarked for £340 million which will go towards the fight against climate change and efforts to build the worlds first "green" car.

Speaking from the European Parliament today, Neena said of the announcement: “This is great news for the 15,000 JLR employees in Birmingham and for the West Midlands economy as a whole.

I know myself, along with many others, have been working extremely hard and putting pressure on to secure this assistance and at last we have it.

“This is more than just short-term assistance though – having recently been to the JLR plant I have seen first hand the investments being made in the kind of efficient technologies that the fight against climate change necessitates.

"With the right investment and support, JLR have every chance of becoming world leaders in the next generation of automotive technology – great for jobs and the international reputation of our region.

“With the G20 commitments to climate change laying the foundations for the Copenhagen summit later this year, the kind of investment announced today will prove vital.

“Already we have seen the important changes that green investment is making in the tyre industry in the West Midlands and now that can be applied across the board in the car industry.”