The UK Motor Industry Gets £1bn

The UK Motor Industry Gets £1bn

Britain’s motor industry is to receive more than £1bn in new funding over the next decade to improve its global competitiveness.

The joint UK motor industry and Government automotive strategy has agreed to the deal to help secure the growth and development of the vehicle and component manufacturing sector.

This new funding supports multi-billion pound investments announced in the last few years by global automotive companies to boost production levels and develop new technologies and models.

Developed under Automotive Council guidance, both industry and the Government will fund the investments.

The range of projects include the creation of an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), thousands of new motor industry apprenticeships and the development of an Automotive Investment Organisation.

The APC is expected to research, develop and commercialise technologies for the vehicles of the future.

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett told Sky News: “The British motor industry is booming at the moment but companies are still struggling to attract top quality young people.

“Any incentives to provide apprenticeships in order to attract the brightest and best should be welcomed.”

The development of the strategy also sees the provision of finance for tooling investments in the supply chain, and a renewed commitment to encourage the UK as a lead market in the production and sale of low emission vehicles.

The financial commitment is backed by 27 companies in the motor industry sector, including supply chain companies, and it is expected to secure at least 30,000 jobs currently linked to producing engines and create many more in the supply chain.

It was also announced that the Automotive Council, co-chaired by Mr Cable and Professor Richard Parry-Jones, is aiming to recruit more than 7,600 apprentices and 1,700 graduates over the next five years.

In addition, the newly-created Automotive Investment Organisation will aim to double the number of jobs created or secured in the automotive supply chain over the next three years to 15,000.

In a further announcement, the Technology Strategy Board launched a £10m competition that could see successful projects fast-tracked for commercialisation through the APC.

Businesses are being invited to bid for support on innovative, collaborative low-carbon vehicle projects.

Announcing the total initiative with Prof Parry-Jones at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex on Friday morning, Mr Cable said: “The UK automotive sector has been incredibly successful in recent times, with billions of pounds of investment and new jobs.

“With the next generation of vehicles set to be powered by radically different technologies we need to maintain this momentum and act now. Our industrial strategy will ensure we keep on working together to make our automotive industry a world leader.”

Prof Parry-Jones said: “Businesses prefer consistency, stability and a clear path to the future in order to make investment plans.

“This is critical to sustaining and growing a thriving UK automotive sector in a highly competitive global industry.”