Monitor: British press comment on the news that Rover's Longbridge plant has been saved

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AT LONG last Mr Stephen Byers, the Trade Secretary, has seen sense and put Rover workers, BMW and, indeed, the whole of the West Midlands out of their agony. There has been too much uncertainty for too long. It has sapped the morale of Rover's workers - many of whom have taken their skills elsewhere, to the detriment of the company. If BMW is willing to to devote so much of its own resources to Rover at Longbridge, how can car critics seriously suggest that the relatively modest amount of Government aid being given to the plant is likely to be wasted? The money is well spent.

The Birmingham Post

IN THE context of the leap of faith BMW shareholders are taking, this cash injection is a trifle. The road back to sustainable profitability may be long and full of potholes, but Rover has a 50:50 chance of making it through before BMW shareholders are thoroughly sick. Since they have already absorbed the worst of Rover's losses, they should not turn back now.

The Financial Times

FOR THE first time in months Longbridge workers could sleep easily in their beds last night. Those who say taxpayers should not help out BMW are missing the point. The Germans have invested over pounds 4bn in Rover since taking over more than eight years ago - and that is more than any previous state hand-outs. Having been given the grant they want, and the workers' total support with new flexible working hours, it is time for BMW to deliver. That is the least their loyal UK workers deserve.

The Sun

IT ISN'T only the people who work at Rover's Longbridge plant who should be celebrating. Saving the factory is a boost for the whole country. The Government did not want to throw money at BMW, which owns Rover. That was how millions of pounds were wasted in the past. But BMW is spending huge sums on Longbridge. It was entitled to get some reasonable aid from the Government.

Now it has. Longbridge is secure.

The Mirror