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M-Sport boss gives first interview since re-signing Sébastien Ogier

It's been an extraordinary season for M-Sport at Dovenby near Cockermouth. On October 29 at the Wales Rally GB, the company won FIA World Rally Championships for Drivers, Co-drivers and Manufacturers, as well as the rally itself.

In his first television interview since re-signing the world rally champion driver Sébastien Ogier, the boss of M-Sport, Malcolm Wilson tells ITV Border about his plans for the future.

Watch the full report tonight on Lookaround at 6.00pm.

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M-Sport return home after Rallye Monte Carlo win

M-sport World Rally Team have returned to their base in Cockermouth after winning the opening round of the World Rally Championship.

The west Cumbrian firm signed the world champion Sebastien Ogier in December.

Along with their new car, they beat some of the biggest manufacturers to take the win at Rallye Monte Carlo.

Lori Carnochan went along to Dovenby Hall to meet the team on their return.

Pictures courtesy of WRC Promoter.

Multi-million pound M-Sport plans given go-ahead

M-Sport World Rally Team Credit: ITV News

Two hundred jobs have been safeguarded and a further one hundred could be created at M-Sport in Cumbria after a multi-million pound development was given the go-ahead.

The £19million plans, including a new technical evaluation centre and testing facility, were approved after a judicial review in the High Court.

The development at Dovenby Hall Estate received a unanimous majority at planning, after Allerdale Borough Council voted 10-1 to approve the application, and attracted support from the Regional Growth Fund and backing from local business leaders.

The development at Dovenby Hall Estate received a unanimous majority at planning, after Allerdale Borough Council voted 10-1 to approve the application, and attracted support from the Regional Growth Fund and backing from local business leaders.

Peter Nicholson of Dovenby had applied to the Court for a judicial review into the Council’s handling of the application, a Judge granted that application warning that it had narrowly passed the lowest test.

Mr Nicholson now has 21 days to commence appeal proceedings if he chooses.

M-Sport say work will begin immediately:

“After a delay of more than eight months, it’s heartening that we can now move ahead with the development. The decision marks a new chapter in the history of M-Sport and I’m excited that we can continue to invest in the local workforce and boost local economy and employment prospects.”

– Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director, M-Sport

However, protesters today said they were pleased with the outcome of the judicial review.

They said the judge's decision vindicated their campaign to include the monitoring of maximum noise levels that would be caused by car testing at M Sport. Mike Fossey, who lives in Dovenby near to the development, has been one of those protesting against the plans.

The principle has now been established that M-Sport will monitor maximum noise levels at the new development, which is something we have fought for. The next step is that they will have to specify a number for the maximum which will have to go before local planning. They still have some way to go. If the values they put in are too high then we, the people that are affected, will contest them. It's been a long process so far and the villagers have had a big impact on the reduction of noise levels.

– Mike Fossey, protester

He added that costs of around £26,000 will now have to be paid by Allerdale Borough Council to Peter Nicholson, the member of the campaign group who brought the judicial review.

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WATCH: Day 4 Rally Finland

This is the fourth in our series of features on M-Sport world rally team, which is based in Cockermouth.

We've been following their progress out in the World Rally Championship in Finland.

Lori Carnochan brings us the action from the final day of competition.

WATCH: Day 3 Rally Finland

The third of ITV Border's special reports looking into what life is like working for one of the world's top rally teams.

They may be based in Cockermouth, but M-Sport travel all over the world.

Lori Carnochan has been out to Rally Finland to see the team in action, and meet the support team who keep the show on the road.

Cockermouth expansion into centre of motor excellence

A West Cumbrian firm has announced plans to expand - and is set to create a hundred jobs.

M-Sport at Dovenby near Cockermouth manufactures rally cars for the global market. It's set to build a centre of excellence for vehicle testing and evaluation.

It won't just be for motor sport, however, as the company is also targeting the general automotive industry.

Kim Inglis reports.

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