Industry snaps up supply chain funds
Thirty-two manufacturers have snapped up £90m of government funding to help British suppliers compete in the global economy and attract foreign investors, Vince Cable, the business secretary, has said.
Subject to due diligence, they will receive the government money in the next few months but almost £30m of the £125m remains, with a second round of bids closing on September 12.
Mr Cable said: “Building up the supply chain and encouraging new suppliers to manufacture here is one of the steps we’re taking to strengthen the UK’s manufacturing capability.”
Some 22 of the bidders asked for the full £25m reserved for the automotive and aerospace sector in the West Midlands and Merseyside, where GM, the US carmaker, has pledged to increase local sourcing for its plant at Ellesmere Port as part of a £125m investment.
Mr Cable said UK-based vehicle manufacturers spent £7bn on UK-made components a year but this could be increased. Companies were looking to build local supply chains after disruption caused by the Japanese earthquake, Asian tsunami and global security alerts.
Mr Cable was in Manchester to back the Make it in Britain campaign promoting manufacturing as a way of rebalancing the economy away from financial services.
He told an audience of industry leaders: “Working with business, we are taking steps to strengthen the UK’s manufacturing capability, ensuring a better business environment that will address barriers to growth, encourage innovation, exports and inward investment as well as build UK supply chains.”