The UK government is committing more than GBP1bn in extra funding to help secure the growth and development of its vehicle and component manufacturing sector with a special focus on technology and low emissions.

The new funding, announced by business secretary [minister] Vince Cable today (12 July), will see the creation of an 'advanced propulsion centre', thousands of new motor industry apprenticeships and the creation of an 'automotive investment organisation'.

Component makers will be helped by the creation of a framework for suppliers, vehicle manufacturers and banking organisations to help solve the problem of financing tooling investment.

There is also a renewed commitment to encourage the UK as a lead market in the production and sale of low emission vehicles.

The announcement was welcomed by Unite, the UK’s biggest trade union, who called for more to be done to “bring the supply chain back home”.

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “any opportunity there is for us to increase UK manufacturing output should be grabbed with both hands. There is a great choice of high quality vehicle manufacturers in the UK.

"There is so much the UK government can do to support this successful industry through procurement and bringing the supply chain back home - this is an encouraging start and we welcome it."