Over £2bn will go to the automotive industry and £975m to the aerospace sector to support the manufacture, supply chain and development of zero emission vehicles and energy efficient, zero-carbon aircraft equipment respectively.
Commenting on the announcement, Mike Hawes, chief executive of trade body SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), said: "[This] announcement is an unequivocal vote of confidence in the UK’s critical automotive industry. Coming on the back of almost £20bn committed by the sector in next generation plants and technologies this year alone, it is indicative of the scale of investment such support can leverage and the result of substantial collaboration between government and the industry.”
The government also committed to £960m for a Green Industries Growth Accelerator to support clean energy manufacturing, and £520m for life sciences manufacturing.
Along with existing manufacturing support and plans for net zero transition, the funding will help to unlock private investment, provide certainty to investors, boost energy security, and protect and create jobs. The government claims this approach has led to £198bn in public and private investment in low carbon energy deployment since 2010.
In a statement, Jeremy Hunt, chancellor of the exchequer, said: “Britain is now the eight 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, creating more skilled, higher-paid jobs in new industries that will be built to last.”
The government has also published its response to Professor Dame Angela McLean’s review of the role that regulation and standards can play in driving innovation and growth in advanced manufacturing. The government accepted the 14 recommendations in the report, including the accelerated deployment of digital twins.
To boost growth in small and medium sized manufacturing businesses more widely, it has also been announced that the government will expand the Made Smarter Adoption programme, offering the scheme to all English regions in 2025-26 before working with the Devolved Administrations to explore making the programme UK-wide from 2026-27.
The programme helps small and medium sized manufacturing companies to use advanced digital technologies which can reduce carbon emissions and drive up productivity, and its expansion will also involve inclusion of digital internships.
“We…welcome the government’s commitment to expand the Made Smarter programme to a pan-UK programme, which will benefit businesses across our nations and regions,” said Kevin Craven, chief executive of ADS, the trade body for the aerospace, defence and security sectors. “This is a very timely intervention given the growing pace of aerospace recovery, huge aircraft order backlog and industries’ continued commitment to net zero.”