Automotive suppliers across the Midlands are set to benefit from a £13 million European Regional Development Fund cash injection through the Accelerate initiative.
The money, which will run until the end of 2008, comes on top of the £19 million already allocated to support the 1,800 suppliers in the Midlands.
The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce-managed programme, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, is now urging component manufacturers to take advantage of the available grants and strategic support.
David Malpass, senior operations manager at Accelerate, said: "This is excellent news for the West Midlands and reinforces our determination to support the local supply chain and the thousands of people who are employed in the sector.
"Having outstripped all previous ERDF targets, we knew we were in a strong position to secure new money and this confidence seemed well placed, as we now have an additional £13 million to support companies in the region between now and December 2008.
"Suppliers have made some tremendous strides forward and their continued evolution will be supplemented by this cash boost. It's now up to them to come and get it."
The biggest slice of funding has been directed into business development and capital grants, with nearly £6 million available for process improvement and acquisit ion of state-of-the-art equipment.
Other Accelerate projects, such as collaborative networks and technology transfer centres, specialist groups which allow suppliers to access the latest technology, will also also benefit.
These groups, where a company works with its supply chain to improve performance and reduce waste, now has the capacity for an additional 20 programmes.
Mr Malpass said: "All of this is looking at generating new business and this is not purely reserved for the domestic sector.
"Auto Zone, for example, has been awarded £550,000 to build on its initial research and partnership building work and is already looking to match West Midlands suppliers with opportunities on up to 267 new model introductions in 35 different countries." The additional funding will make over 2,500 company interventions, safeguard more than 7,000 jobs, create hundreds of new employment opportunities and help suppliers land over £200 million of new work, Mr Malpass added.
"This is recognition of the excellent work we have done in the wake of the MG Rover collapse and also the work we still have to do. This money will be directed towards long term, strategic projects."
Hanne Hoeck, European accountant at the Government Office West Midlands who appraised Accelerate for the funding, said: "During the last decade, Accelerate has worked tirelessly to safeguard 52,889 jobs across the region and assisted in excess of 3,000 businesses.
"The emphasis now has got to be on not just surviving, but actually leading the global industry and that is why this new money will be so important in helping suppliers take the next step forward." Geoff Buxton, managing director of B2 Automotive, which makes steering systems, said Accelerate had helped his company develop at every stage.
"They helped us to set up the company, helped with marketing, with our invest-ment in capital equipment, training and reaching the latest standards.