BOSSES at the Cowley Mini plant joined Oxford East MP Andrew Smith to celebrate a milestone at the factory’s new bodyshop.

A topping-out ceremony to mark the completion of the exterior of the building, saw Frank-Peter Arndt, board member for production at Mini’s parent company BMW, unveil a plaque commemorating the occasion.

Mr Arndt said: “This building is part of BMW Group’s £500m investment in the UK production network, which we announced in June last year.

“The majority of the investment will be made in Plant Oxford, the heart of Mini production, and is our commitment to the company’s presence in the future of UK manufacturing.”

The extension will provide extra capacity to accommodate the next generation of Mini models, which are expected to arrive from next year.

The plant’s managing director Dr Jurgen Hedrich said: “The bodyshop extension represents a substantial investment in our site with a state of the art facility for the next generation Mini.”