Millbrook Proving Centre Nets Government Cash

10 April 2014, 17:46 | Updated: 10 April 2014, 18:02

Vince Cable At Millbrook

Millbrook - where the vehicle proving centre and test track is located (between MK and Bedford) has won £1.95m grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Business Secretary Vince Cable visited Millbrook today to mark the occasion, as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg makes the national announcement of all RGF Round 5 winners.

The grant will support investment in state-of-the-art facilities for research and development in advanced propulsion and emissions reduction. These will be used by Millbrook’s customers to develop innovative ways of improving air quality in cities and densely-populated areas through faster reductions in vehicle emissions, with special focus on hybridisation/electrification of public transport vehicles and developing less polluting fuels. The investment is linked to safeguarding existing jobs and creating 45 new positions over the next five years.

Millbrook’s successful RGF bid follows the recent transfer of ownership from GM to Rutland Partners and the appointment of new Chief Executive Officer, Alex Burns in February.

Of the announcement, Alex Burns said: "We are very pleased to receive this funding from the UK Government. There has been a great deal of positive change at Millbrook in the past six months, all of which will contribute to an exciting future for Millbrook as a world class technology and test centre.

This grant will enable Millbrook to invest in new facilities and strengthen our relationships with our customers, public transport agencies and academic institutions. Key elements of the test facilities will be uniquely in the UK and the RGF funding will ensure that this capacity, with the resulting technologies and business opportunities are not lost to international competitors."

Business Secretary Vince Cable added: "Millbrook is leading the way in automotive innovation. Their success in Round 5 of the Regional Growth Fund will underscore expansion plans and create new highly skilled jobs onsite – exactly what the fund was established to do. 

Coupled with other RGF successes, there is a positive growth story for the East of England, including the creation and safeguard of up to 15,000 jobs in the long-term."