Government announces new UK Advanced Manufacturing strategy

Mon 27 Nov 2023
Posted by: Phillip Adnett
Trade News

Advanced manufacturing

The government has released details of its new “landmark” UK Advanced Manufacturing plan with the end goal of turning the UK into “the best place in the world to start and grow a manufacturing business”.

The plan outlines a number of measures aimed at improving the UK’s business environment and attracting investment, which the government says will support thousands of jobs across the country.

These include new apprenticeships, reducing costs for businesses and boosting supply chain resilience.

Funding available

According to the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), £2bn has been earmarked for the automotive industry, including batteries, and £975m for aerospace.

Overall, the government is offering £4.5bn in financial support to boost several critical industries.

However, the strategy paper says that there will be no “subsidy battle”, referring to the US Inflation Reduction Act which pumped billions of dollars into the US economy.

Senior politicians in Europe, Asia and the UK had raised concerns about President Joe Biden’s legislation, saying it damaged their domestic economies’ competitiveness.

Goals

Other parts of the Advanced Manufacturing Strategy include the creation of a hydrogen taskforce to help reach 10 gigawatts of hydrogen production capacity by 2030 and lowering energy costs for sectors like the metals and chemical industries.

DBT expects the plan to play a “pivotal role” in supporting the UK Export Strategy’s ambition to reach £1trn exports annually, as the manufacturing sector accounts for 43% of all UK exports.

Business and trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said:

“Industry wants a stable, long-term plan that has support for cutting-edge technologies and a trade policy that delivers. The Advanced Manufacturing Plan does precisely that, securing the highly skilled jobs of the future and driving economic growth.”

Battery plan

The plan was also launched at the same time DBT announced its new UK battery strategy.

Nusrat Ghani, minister for industry, said that the government’s 2030 vision “is for the UK to have a globally competitive battery supply chain that supports economic prosperity and the net zero transition”.

The plan is hinged on a 'Design-Build-Sustain' approach, building on the strengths from which the government says the UK benefits, including on innovation, start-up culture for battery companies and the automotive sector.

Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK, said the strategy was “very welcome and much needed.”

“Having a joined-up battery plan in place will be critical for the UK economy to benefit fully from new technological opportunities going forward, and we must ensure that manufacturing involves the entire supply chain, right from design to manufacturing and recycling, closely connecting car and battery industries.”