By Max Clarke

Production of Vauxhall’s popular Vivaro van series will take place in Luton, parent company Renault has announced.

The decision will safeguard 1,500 jobs in the Luton plant: welcome news as UK unemployment shows no signs of decreasing from its 17 year 2.53 million high.

"This is fantastic news. It secures the future of Vauxhall in Luton and puts to rest any uncertainty over jobs. Without a new model Luton would have closed, instead the plant has work until at least 2020 and 1,500 jobs have been secured.” Said Len McCluskey, general secretary of leading workers’ union, Unite.

Continued McCluskey: "The efforts of Vauxhall’s chairman, Nick Reilly, were pivotal in securing an agreement with Renault and we are extremely grateful for the part he played. This decision is also down to the hard work of the workforce and savings they helped deliver."

Luton is the last volume manufacturer of commercial vans left in the UK and with this deal the plant will produce 62,000 units a year.

Since production on the previous Vivaro model in 2001, 1.25 million vans were produced in Luton and in France under the Opel sister company name.