The Government has announced £19 million of funding for research and development of low carbon vehicles in the Midlands.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said the money, channelled through a new 'low carbon economic area' (LCEA), would help secure 10,000 jobs in the region’s car industry.

Launching the initiative at the University of Warwick, the minister said: "I want to see the Midlands help the UK to lead the global automotive industry in the transition from conventional to low carbon vehicle technologies.

"The LCEA will send a clear signal to the global market about the Midlands’ strengths in advanced automotive engineering.

"The move towards a low carbon economy presents huge opportunities. This new funding will help secure the Midlands’ 10,000 existing car industry jobs, by helping transform them into the green car jobs of the future."