MORE than 100 jobs will be created in Cwmbran over the next five years as part of a £36 million investment into a brake business in the town.

Business Minister Edwina Hart has welcomed the multi-million pound investment which, is set to transform Meritor's Cwmbran plant.

The regeneration project began in 2010, due for completion in 2014 and is supported by the Welsh Government through the Single Investment Fund.

On a recent visit to the facility to see work in progress Mrs Hart described the investment as a vote of confidence in Wales and the local workforce.

She said: "I am delighted the Welsh Government is supporting this project that will not only ensure the Cwmbran centre remains one of Meritor's key sites worldwide but will also create a significant number of jobs when completed.

"It is a major undertaking and I am very impressed with the progress in transforming a site built during the second world war into an ultra-modern facility with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and systems, including fully automated assembly lines.

"Meritor is recognised by the Welsh Government as one of our regionally important companies that has a highly skilled workforce and makes an important contribution to the Welsh economy and to the local community.

"This important investment is very welcome, particularly during these challenging economic conditions and I should like to congratulate the company on the work undertaken to date that will enhance production efficiency and incorporate a range of low carbon environmentally friendly features."

The Cwmbran facility, which employs 450 people, serves the commercial and industrial vehicle market and exports 90 per cent of its products.

The investment involves reconfiguring the site, and totally refurbishing its production facility to be concentrated at the southern end of the plant, enabling land that is surplus to requirement to be released for further development in Cwmbran.

The site is already in the process of becoming home to a new 37,000 sq ft Morrisons store which will create 100 full-time and 250 part-time jobs.

In September this year Meritor Inc announced an incremental investment of £10m in its Cwmbran site which builds on the £26m investment the company announced in 2010.

Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle said: "I've worked very closely with Meritor down the years; they are an essential part of the lifeblood of the local economy and in these tough times it's fantastic to see local jobs being protected and cutting edge manufacturing being developed.

"This massive investment will help consolidate the company's future in what is an incredibly competitive global market, and when I visited the Meritor site last week it was really pleasing to hear management pay tribute to the fantastic workforce they have in Cwmbran.

"I'm especially proud of the way the management, Unite the Union and staff at the site have worked so closely together to ensure the company's long term future in Torfaen."