The investment was welcomed by GKN.

“GKN has fully played its part in the creation of the automotive industrial strategy, but more importantly will continue to support the initiative through the delivery phase," said chief executive Nigel Stein.

The investment is backed by 27 companies in the sector, including supply chain companies, and aims to secure 30,000 jobs currently linked to producing engines and create many more in the supply chain.

It forms part of Driving success – an industrial strategy for growth and sustainability in the UK automotive sector, a strategy document published jointly by the government and industry which sets out how the UK can improve its research and development of low carbon vehicles.

“With the next generation of vehicles set to be powered by radically different technologies we need to maintain this momentum and act now,” said business secretary Vince Cable. “Our industrial strategy will ensure we keep on working together to make our automotive industry a world leader.”

The companies backing the Advanced Propulsion Centre are as follows: Bentley, BMW Group, Bosch, BP, Castrol InnoVentures, Caterpillar, Ford, GKN plc, High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Intelligent Energy, JCB, JLR, Lotus, MAHLE Powertrain, McLaren, Millbrook Proving Ground, MIRA, Morgan, Nissan, Optare, Productiv, RDM Ltd, Ricardo, SMMT, Tata Motors, Transport Systems Catapult Ltd, and West Midlands Manufacturing Consortium Ltd.