Investment in UK manufacturing tops £1 billion mark

British manufacturing secured just under £1.5 billion of new business investment last year, according to a report published today by the government.

Nearly £1.5 billion of new business investment has been secured for Britain in the last year, the vast majority to support the manufacturing sector, according to a new report, published today.

The figures reveal that for every £1 invested through Regional Selective Assistance (RSA), £6 in new investment was secured.

The UK government, Scottish executive and Welsh Assembly government committed to over 500 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grants totalling £250.8 million, which expected to lever-in £1.48 billion of private sector investment, and is expected to create over 24,000 jobs and safeguard almost 15,000 more.

Since 1997 £1.68 billion RSA has been awarded in Britain, securing £15.8billion of investment, creating or securing some 290,000 jobs.

‘I believe that British manufacturing has a strong future and a key role in productivity growth,’ said Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. ‘That’s why we invest in manufacturing success.

‘Today’s figures show not only that we are providing value for money for the taxpayer. And – as we said in our manufacturing strategy in May – we’re committed to raising levels of investment in UK manufacturing. ‘

Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) is currently the main instrument of regional industrial policy. Projects benefiting from RSA would often not go ahead in the UK without grant aid because of their international mobility.

The RSA scheme reportedly offers selective grants to firms investing in the Assisted Areas and creating or safeguarding jobs. Grants are usually paid in instalments against job creation and investment targets.

The Assisted Areas are defined on the basis of criteria agreed with the European Commission but broadly reflect unemployment and GDP factors. RSA is demand-led and is open to UK and foreign owned companies. Last year, 82 per cent of accepted offers were to UK owned companies.

An example of RSA success can be found in the South West of England. In December 2001, RSA of £228,000 was offered to help relocate Parker Hannifin from its existing Redruth, Cornwall site to a new 16,000 square feet factory in Redruth.

The project is expected to safeguard 47 full time jobs and was won against competition from France. The company accepted the offer in February 2002.

The Report is also available on the HMSO website at: <A HREF=’http://www.official-documents.co.uk’> Regional Selective Assistance Report</A>

On the web