Ford is investing £181m in its Bridgend engine plant in South Wales to produce a range of fuel-efficient petrol engines.

The Welsh Government has contributed £14.67m, and with production due to start in late 2018.

One in four of Ford’s vehicles worldwide are sold with the firm’s EcoBoost engine – currently the most frugal Ford engine – with the 1.0-litre variant being the most popular version in Europe, with one in five vehicles sold in the region being equipped with the engine.

The 1.0-litre three cylinder unit powers the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo, among other cars in the Ford range, and is also available in the Transit Courier and Transit Connect light commercial vehicle ranges.