THOUSANDS of jobs have been secured in Essex after major investment was announced.
Projects that will put Formula 1 technology into buses and diggers and develop the next generation of engines are receiving money from a joint £1 billion Government-industry fund.
Business Secretary Vince Cable announced £133 million of new investment for the winning projects during a visit to Ford's site in Dunton today.
The Government and industry will each invest £500 million over the next decade to research, develop and commercialise technologies for vehicles of the future.
Ministers said the initiative had the potential to secure up to 30,000 jobs currently linked to producing engines and create many more in the supply chain.
Consortia led by Ford, GKN, Cummins and JCB have all received funding for projects to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
Mr Cable said: "The next generation of cars, buses and diggers will be powered by radically different technologies and I want them to be developed here in Britain.
"Over the last few decades the British car industry has been transformed and today a new vehicle rolls off a UK production line every 20 seconds.
"To capitalise on the success of our motor industry these projects will be the first of many to receive funding from the new £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) which we set up to turn technologies into products.
"The Government's industrial strategy is giving business the confidence to invest, securing high skilled, long-term jobs and creating a stronger economy."
Under today's announcement, Ford and its partners will receive a £13.1 million grant for a £100 million programme to upgrade the award winning EcoBoost engine; GKN Land Systems and its partners will receive a £7.5 million grant as part of a £16 million project to apply Formula 1 technology for use in buses.
Cummins and its partners will receive a £4.9 million grant for a £9.9 million project to deliver reductions in carbon emissions from bus engines, and JCB and its partner Flybrid will receive a £3.3 million grant as part of a £7.3 million project to apply Formula 1 technology for use in diggers.