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BASILDON councillors have unanimously approved a £23million extension to Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre.
The council’s Planning Committee approved plans last night for the company to extend the west wing of its Research and Engineering Centre in West Mayne.
The company has pledged to create apprenticeships for local youngsters as part of the scheme.
Labour councillor Jack Ferguson, chairing the committee, described Ford as ‘an important employer’ which ‘creates enormous opportunities’.
Tory Malcolm Buckley agreed, saying Ford offered ‘high quality employment’.
He said: “One of the things that we need to do is have this type of development so that when our people leave the borough and go to uni, they have got an opportunity to seek employment back in their home area.
“We see too many – and I include my daughter in this – that go away to uni and then go away somewhere else because the jobs were not here. So I think it’s vital that we support it.
“Let’s make sure
that they are encouraged to stay in the borough and keep our
The new development will house two new ‘test cells’, used to test engines and transmissions.