German car maker BMW has announced plans to invest £500 million to develop its UK plants to build the next generation of Minis.
The firm said that the substantial investment to develop the facilities will also secure more than 5,000 jobs.
The move was welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron who said it was a "tremendous vote of confidence" in the workers.
The Mini assembly base in Oxford, the Swindon factory and Birmingham's engine plant will all be installed with new machinery and facilities to aid production.
BMW, which claims to have invested £1.5 billion in the country for the past 11 years, is launching the Mini coupe this year and the Mini Roadster in 2012.
Both the models will be manufactured at the Oxford plant which has produced more than two million Mini cars over a decade, mostly for export.
Norbert Reithofer, the chairman for BMW group said: "We have started preparing our UK plants for production of the next generation Mini and this investment underlines that the UK will remain the heart of Mini production."
Copyright © Press Association 2011