WORKERS at BMW Mini have been rewarded with a bumper pay deal for the car plant's best year since the new model launched.

Staff at the Cowley plant were hailed "world beaters" in January following the car manufacturer’s most impressive sales figures since the new Mini hit the highway in 2001.

Now they have been handed a pay increase totalling 10 per cent, described as the best deal in the car manufacturing sector.

Chris Bond, Unite convenor at the plant, said he was delighted the workforce had voted to accept the pay offer on Monday, which will cover the next three years and be backdated until January 1.

The 63-year-old from Botley, who has worked at the car plant since 1974, added: "The Clubman has been launched and the plant is going from strength to strength – that is reflected in this pay agreement.

"The deal amounts to 10 per cent over three years and it's the best in the motor manufacturing sector – no one has bettered that.

"We started negotiating back in November and 76.8 per cent of 2,696 balloted voted to accept the offer, a three-year deal."

BMW Group spokeswoman Sarah Heaney said: "We are pleased to confirm the three-year pay deal negotiated between the company and the trade union has been approved via ballot by the union members, demonstrating that the deal is strong and competitive."

Last year saw 63,584 Minis sold in the UK, up 18 per cent from the 53,661 sold in 2014, with workers launching the new Clubman.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith, who drives a Mini Cooper diesel, said the pay deal was good for the workforce.

He added: "It's above inflation and better than most workers are getting.

"The Mini continues to go from strength to strength and the workers are sharing in that success."

Mr Bond said the 10 per cent total was the "top line figure" based on Grade Two production line workers, who make up the vast majority of the workforce.

He added they earn about £29,000 a year, and there will be a four per cent increase paid the first year, 3.25 per cent increase in the second year, and 2.75 per increase cent in the third year.

He said: "All the workforce deserve a pat on the back for their flexibility and hard work, which has brought great results for BMW Mini.

"Everyone will get a pay increase, including agency staff, who come and work here for a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years, before their contracts are renegotiated."

The convenor said about 2,000 workers out of a total of 3,800 were agency staff, adding "we always negotiate for more permanent contracts".

Mr Bond said there were several hundred workers who were not on the production line who will get a similar-sized increase, but the deal does not cover other staff on managerial grades.

Two years ago, a two-year deal for Mini plant workers awarded them a pay increase of 3.5 per cent in the first year and 2.5 per cent in the second.

In January, Mini plant boss Frank Bachmann praised the plant's workforce for last year's record-breaking sales figures.

The milestone represented Mini’s sixth year of consecutive growth, which has secured them 2.41 per cent of the entire UK market.

The Mini three-door Hatch remained the brand’s biggest selling model with 25,443 sales, closely followed by its five-door sibling with 19,117 sales.

The new Clubman joined the BMW Mini family in the last quarter of 2015 and the new convertible is now on sale.

In February last year Unite recommended their members accept a 3.5 per cent pay offer for 2015/2016 at the Honda plant in Swindon.