News story

Jobs boost for Midlands Engine as Chancellor announces over £16m research funding

200 jobs could be created in the Midlands, Chancellor announces at visit to Jaguar Land Rover

George Osborne visiting Jaguar in 2014. PA images.

Nearly 200 highly skilled engineering and manufacturing jobs could be created in the Midlands thanks to a £16.6 million boost to research and development funding, the Chancellor has announced today (30 November 2015).

On a visit to Jaguar Land Rover’s engine manufacturing facility in Wolverhampton, the Chancellor confirmed that a research consortium, led by Jaguar Land Rover, would receive a £16.6 million grant to develop a more efficient transmission system for potential use in future models of their cars. This grant will be matched by private funding, bringing the total project funding to over £33 million.

This crucial funding will create an initial 60 roles in research and development, and if successful could lead to the creation of a further 130 manufacturing and engineering roles. The new funding will also ensure the security of a further 150 roles.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

I’m determined to build on the success of Britain’s Engine for Growth in the Midlands, and today’s announcement is a crucial step in our plan.

In the Spending Review I set out how we’re making significant investments in the Midlands, across transport, energy and culture. This grant is a further example of how this Government is backing businesses in the Midlands to grow and create jobs and support working people at every stage of their lives.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said:

We are delighted that the Chancellor has announced £16.6m APC funding to support the consortium’s investment in this collaborative research project. This innovative research will investigate the feasibility of potential future transmission technologies. This innovative transmission could offer reduced weight, improved fuel economy and improved driveability on and off-road.

Collaborative research like this is hugely beneficial for all partners including academia, the supply chain and the automotive industry. The collaborative research programmes we lead bring together some of the best engineering minds in the UK and allow us to multiply the effect of our investment and nurture UK-based technology investment. This approach is helping to develop the skills and technologies that will make the UK even more competitive.

The £16.6 million government grant is being awarded through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and is matched by funding from the automotive industry.

The APC is a 10-year £1 billion partnership between government and the automotive industry to bring innovators and producers of low carbon propulsion systems together. This will help transform Britain into a world leader for low carbon development and production.

Ian Constance , CEO Advanced Propulsion Centre, said:

The announcement of this project is further demonstration of the continued commitment by government and Industry to support the critical role of innovation in the UK automotive industry. Collaboration is at the heart of this exciting landmark research and the APC are delighted to be a part of it.

As set out in the Spending Review, the government has protected funding for the APC and committed to supporting automotive technologies for the next decade.

Further information

The following jobs are being created or secured:

  • initially around 60 new R&D jobs, with around half at Jaguar Land Rover
  • around 150 jobs safeguarded at The Proving Factory
  • if the technology goes into production in the future, around 130 manufacturing and engineering jobs could be created, most of which will be at Jaguar Land Rover
Published 30 November 2015