Bad publicity will harm West Midlands’ investment, warns IoD

The economy of the West Midlands risks being damaged by the negative publicity surrounding events in support of Rover workers, the Institute of Directors warned this week.

`The media dug out pictures of industrial unrest from the 1970s, giving the impression that little has changed. The danger is that the region appears to be depressed, which may put investors off,’ said Nigel Hastilow, West Midlands IoD director.

He also criticised the government’s Rover task force for suggesting job losses following the sale of Rover by BMW could reach 50,000.

`Economic success depends on confidence. The task force should be looking at ways of salvaging as much as possible at Longbridge.’

But a member of the task force said the scale of the potential problem had to be made public. `I don’t see why this should hurt investment. It’s an opportunity in some ways,’ he said.