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Sports car outfit TVR has announced it will cease production in the UK, meaning redundancy for the 250 workers at its Blackpool plant, the BBC reports.

The company - founded in 1947 by Trevor Wilkinson - was acquired in 2004 by Russian Nikolai Smolensky and, despite temporarily laying off 71 members of staff back in April "due to flagging demand", last month said it would keep production in the UK. Its plans for the future included a 2008 plant relocation from Bispham to Blackpool Business Park.

The Transport and General Workers Union's reaction to the news was predictable. T&G North West regional secretary Dave McCall said: "This is a bitter blow for Blackpool and an iconic British sports car. It is particularly hard to take in after everyone's hopes had been raised just a few months ago when workers who had been laid off were taken back."

The BBC notes that while TVR "is renowned for offering high performance cars at a competitive price", its vehicles "have suffered from reliability issues in recent years". ®

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