Motoring journalists were left wondering after last September's Paris motor show how exactly Lorus was going to manage to pull off its aggressive expansion plan, and it seems the government is too.

The Norfolk-based sportscar manufacturer has been turned down for £27.5 million of regional growth funding it says it needed to secure 1200 jobs and build the new Esprit.

The new car could now be manufactured abroad if funding isn't available.

Lotus has already said in a statement that it is weighing up its options: "Following this decision Group Lotus is currently exploring all available options including the possibility of submitting an updated bid for round two of the RGF, which is set to close on July 1"

Jaguar Land Rover was a big winner in the round of bidding, getting £70 million for research projects it says will lead to 6,500 jobs in the long term. Bentley and GM were also allocated money.

Lotus has already gained planning permission for an expansion to its Hethel headquarters, but had been relying on the growth money to drive the project forward.