Rumours began last week when site owners, PowerGen, revealed the sale to English Partnerships described as a Government Regeneration Agency. The agency bought the site as 'a strategic purchase to provide an automotive component manufacturing capability as part of its remit to facilitate reclamation and delivery of industrial sites in priority areas'.
Two national newspapers named Rover as the buyer but PowerGen declined to comment because of a confidentiality agreement. A BMW spokesman said: 'The story is extremely speculative. We have just spent a considerable sum of money to add capacity to our engine plant in Austria so talk of a new factory in the UK is very premature.'