Britain has agreed a multi-million pound joint investment with French speciality vaccines company Valneva to upgrade a manufacturing facility and increase production capacity for a possible Covid-19 vaccine.

Britain said in July it had agreed in principle to buy 60 million doses of a Valneva vaccine, with an option to purchase 40 million more if it proved safe, effective and suitable.

The government did not disclose the exact size of the investment, and had previously said it was in talks about providing funding for the facility in Livingston, Scotland.

Valneva has previously said it is aiming for clinical trials of its vaccine to start in November or December this year.

The upgraded facility could potentially supply 100 million vaccine doses to Britain and internationally, the government said in a statement.

Governments around the world are locked in a race to secure a vaccine that could help their citizens, and economies, to recover from the pandemic.