The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the project's working title, has been awarded the grant by the Potter Foundation. With the investment the bureau will seek to incorporate the work of the recently launched Investigations Fund, a release said.
The bureau will help organise the fund's work to promote investigative, not-for-profit journalism, in the public interest.
"Our goal in helping establish this project is to support investigative journalism of the highest ethical standards and to search for sustainable models for its long-term future," said Elaine Potter, former Sunday Times journalist and co-founder of the foundation, in the release.
Stephen Grey, who launched the fund last month, has been named as acting editor of the bureau.
"We've had an incredible response and some great suggestions on how to move forward, and this extraordinary generosity is a sensational start. I think the plan we've backed is the best way of taking on board all the best suggestions we've received," he said in the statement.
"I believe it can have a transforming and positive effect on reporting in this country, and go a long way to encouraging and supporting new talent."
Search giant Google has agreed to support the venture with software tools and training. According to the release, support has also come from: Sir Harold Evans, former editor of The Sunday Times; Seymour Hersh, who has been at the forefront of investigative journalism for decades; and Nick Davies, award-winning investigative reporter and author of Flat Earth News.
The creation of the bureau has been led by directors at the Centre for Investigative Journalism, which begins its summer training school today.
"We will experiment with all the techniques available to us from 'crowdfunding' to 'crowdsourcing' and provide content across the media spectrum. But there is no substitute for first rate reporters being given time and resources to deliver great stories, which hold the powerful to account," said Gavin MacFadyen, director of the CIJ and one of the founders of the bureau, in the release.
"The bureau will offer investigative journalists both proper funding and the support of senior and experienced editors and researchers to carry out important investigations that are in the public interest."