One of Melksham’s biggest employers is set to benefit from a £1 million government investment, to improve its energy efficiency and help safeguard almost 1,000 jobs.

Cooper Tires has been awarded the funds as part of the Department of Business, Skills and Innovation’s Regional Growth Fund, which will be used to build a combined heat and power plant at the factory and install solar panels on the roof, making the site more environmentally friendly.

A spokesperson for Cooper Tires said: “This is a funding offer which is subject to due diligence – more work has to done to review the bid that has been submitted.

“It will support investment and innovative renewable energy technology.

“We want to thank Wilt-shire Council for supporting us in developing the bid.”

The move has been welcomed by the town’s MP, Duncan Hames. He said: “I am delighted that the Government is supporting one of our largest local employers.

“Back in March, I promoted it in Parliament.

“Helping energy intensive industries like this generate clean renewable energy is good for the environment and good for local employment.

“I believe the investment the company is making should put its Melksham operation on a firmer footing for the future.”

The tyre manufacturer, which was recently bought by Indian firm Apollo Tyres, is one of 102 firms to benefit from the scheme.

Graham Ellis, president of the Melksham Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are, of course, delighted.

“It is good news for Cooper Tires and for the town.”