A new initiative aimed at boosting component manufacturing in the automotive sector has been launched by the Government.

The £21.8 million plan, dubbed the Proving Factory, aims to nurture emerging technologies and create 1250 jobs in the supply chain.

Schaeffler and Unipart are  on board offering supply chain and processing knowledge. The Midlands Assembly Network will offer component processes and supply.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills says a portfolio of up to 20 products will be created with between 1000-20,000 units of each manufactured a year.

The products will come from six companies including Bladon Jets, Drive Systems Design, Flybrid, Libralato and Torotrak.

The initiative will also support component manufacturing taking place at Tata Steel’s Rotherham facility and assembly being done at a new site in the West Midlands, managed by Productiv.

The project has been made possible thanks to an investment of £21.8 million, coming in the form of a £12.8 million grant and loan funding from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, matched by £9.1 million of private funding.

Launching the project Secretary of State Vince Cable said: “Supply chains are the lifeblood of industry and vital for our drive for renewed economic growth, which is why government has committed to supporting their development as part of our Industrial Strategy.

“The Proving Factory is a clear demonstration of how AMSCI is bringing government and businesses together to overcome barriers in efficiency and expansion, while creating a wealth of valuable new jobs in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.”

Interim Chief Executive of the SMMT Mike Baunton said: “We are always pleased to see government and industry working together to strengthen the automotive supply chain and bring to market high-tech engineering projects from the wealth of expertise we have in the UK.”

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