Chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt has announced a £4.5bn windfall for the UK manufacturing sector, which will follow the next general election if the Conservatives are re-elected.
The next general election is expected to be called in 2025.
The announcement comes ahead of the Autumn Statement tomorrow, with the UK’s manufacturing sector seeing its deepest downturn since the 2008 financial crisis due to depressed activity resulting from market uncertainty.
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) reported that UK manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) recorded 44.8 in October, with a reading below fifty indicating the manufacturing sector is in contraction.
The announcement included £2bn for the automotive industry, £975m for aerospace and £960m for clean energy.
Available from 2025, the funding represents the current government’s commitment to supporting the UK manufacturing industry’s globally competitive innovation.
Jeremy Hunt said: “Britain is now the eighth largest manufacturer in the world, recently overtaking France. To build on this success, we are targeting funding to support the sectors where the UK is or could be world leading.
“Our £4.5bn of funding will leverage many times that from the private sector, and in turn will grow our economy, create more skilled, higher-paid jobs in new industries that will be built to last.”
The government also agreed to an expansion of the Made Smarter Adoption, a programme developed to help small- and medium-sized enterprise manufacturers to use advanced digital technologies to advance productivity, reduce carbon emissions and encourage digital internships.
Set for national rollout 2025-26, the scheme will be extended to the entirety of the UK from 2026-27.
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