The �1bn Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has been announced today

Plans for UK's new car propulsion centre unveiled

The £1bn Advanced Propulsion Centre will focus on research, development and commercialisation of future low-carbon vehicle propulsion systems.

Speaking at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex today, UK’s Business Secretary Vince Cable said the government and the industry will both contribute £500m each over the next 10 years to fund the centre, believed not only to secure UK a leading position in the car industry, but also bring about at least 30,000 jobs.

"The UK automotive sector has been incredibly successful in recent times, with billions of pounds of investment and new jobs. This has been achieved by government and industry working together,” Cable said.

"With the next generation of vehicles set to be powered by radically different technologies we need to maintain this momentum and act now."

27 companies working in the motor industry, including those in the supply chain, have backed the creation of the centre.

"'Driving Success', the automotive industrial strategy, sets out how industry will work together with government over the next 20 or 30 years. This is critical to sustaining and growing a thriving UK automotive sector in a highly competitive global industry," Professor Richard Parry Jones explained.

The new centre will work closely with the Technology Strategy Board, who has launched a £10m competition for businesses to come up with innovative low-carbon vehicle projects. The best proposals will be fast-tracked for commercialisation through the ACP.

"This automotive strategy is the result of a great deal of effort over a number of years from all parties in the automotive sector and government,” said Iain Gray, the Technology Strategy Board chief executive.

"We have an agreed way forward which will give stability and momentum to the transport industry in this country. It will give businesses - large and small - the confidence to plan for the future in the UK."

At the same time, it was announced, the Automotive Council, co-chaired by Cable a Parry-Jones, seeks to recruit more than 7,600 apprentices and 1,700 graduates. Further jobs in the sector are hoped to be created by the Automotive Investment Organisation.

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