Renault is remaining tight-lipped concerning the level of regional and national aid it received to launch its joint venture with Caterham, that secures work for 300 staff at the French automaker's Dieppe site.

The French manufacturer says new sports models bearing the Alpine name could be ready for production in four years, but it appears the project has benefited from what it termed "substantial support" from the French State and the Région Haute-Normandie as well as Seine-Maritime.

"We have not communicated on the amount, but there is some aid which has been given by the departement [regional council] and by the French State for training," a Renault spokeswoman told just-auto from Paris.

"Obviously they [politicians] were here at [today's] press conference, but they did not give an amount."

The level of seriousness which the local and national government attached to the announcement however, was borne out by the attendance of French Economic Redevelopment Minister, Arnaud Montebourg and Région Haute-Normandie president, Alain Le Vern at today's announcement.

As well as the initial 300 jobs preserved by news of the joint venture with Caterham, Renault also raised the possibility further employment could be created through the new models, which will bear the "respective DNA" of Alpine and the UK manufacturer.

"This partnership safeguards the Dieppe site and its jobs," said a statement from Montebourg's Ministry. "It highlights unique know-how and French engineering, as well as that of the 300 posts at Dieppe.

"The State with the Région Haute-Normandie, will work side-by-side with the new Alpine Caterham automobile company to give it every chance of success."

The Alpine plant in Dieppe currently builds vehicles developed by Renault Sport Technologies, both production - Clio RS - and racing models.

The Dieppe plant, built in 1969, is the home of the Alpine brand which produced models such as the Berlinette.

No-one from the Seine-Maritime departement was immediately available for comment.