Advantage West Midlands is funding a collaborative research and development programme to increase the competitive edge of the West Midlands niche vehicle cluster.
The Advantage Niche Vehicle Programme (ANVP) is a £2.5m initiative designed to promote the region’s niche vehicle manufacturers through the research and development of advanced technology.
The programme will be managed by the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technology (CENEX) in collaboration with Coventry University and the Niche Vehicle Network, an association of around 25 of the region’s specialist car and chassis manufacturers.
According to CENEX, the programme has received a positive response, with more than 30 expressions of interest and a number of projects put forward for an immediate start.
Dr Richard Hutchins, the RDA’s corporate director of economic development, said: ‘The West Midlands has a vibrant and healthy niche vehicle cluster, which includes leading brands such as Modec, Morgan Motor Company, Westfield, Lotus Lightweight Structures and Microcab, and is arguably the world’s strongest concentration of niche vehicle manufacturers.
‘The new programme is a key project in the Automotive Cluster Plan and aligns with the West Midlands Economic Strategy by seizing market opportunities and improving competitiveness.’