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Automotive firms in the West Midlands – including Jaguar Land Rover – are among the main beneficiaries of £109.7m of new government funding.

The money, alongside significant funding from the motor industry, is to help develop the next generation of driverless and low-carbon vehicles.

The money is being released as part of the government’s new Industrial Strategy, announced last month.

Seven projects from around the UK – three in the West Midlands – will share grants from the latest round of funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the joint industry-government programme intended to put the UK at the forefront of low carbon vehicle technology.

The projects cover a wide range of innovations in low-emissions technology, and could help safeguard 2,370 UK jobs.

Other West Midlands firms to benefit alongside JLR are Westfield sports cars in Kingswinford and Penso Consulting in Coventry.

Successful schemes include the development of a high power battery suitable for high-performance vehicles; a project to address gaps in and strengthen the UK supply chain; the development of the fuelling system for a concept gas tractor; and technologies to reduce the weight and improve electrification in SUV vehicle platforms.

APC projects awarded funding are:

• BMW – South East
• CNH Industrial – East of England
• Ford Motor Company Ltd – East of England
• Jaguar Land Rover – West Midlands
• Penso Consulting – West Midlands
• Westfield Sportscars – West Midlands
• Williams Advanced Engineering – South East

A further seven projects have won funding from the government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) to advance the development of a range of ultra-low and zero emissions vehicle technologies in the UK.

The announcements follow the launch of the first phase of the government’s £100m connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) test bed programme at the end of last month with a competition worth £55m. The government plans to create a cluster of excellence in CAV testing along the M40 corridor between Birmingham and London.

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