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Industrial Strategy

Volume 560: debated on Monday 18 March 2013

In September last year, I set out the Government’s new industrial strategy for the UK. This would be a long-term, whole of Government approach, with partnership with industry at its heart.

As part of the UK’s new industrial strategy, I was clear that the Government will continue to support successful sectors.

Reflecting this commitment, today I am delighted to announce the Government are committing over £1.6 billion during the next 10 years to back our industrial strategy. This includes over £1 billion new money from Treasury and over £500 million from my Department’s budget. Working in partnership with business we will aim at least to double this with industry funding.

The first strategy we will support with this funding will be aerospace. Further strategies will be published in the coming months, including agri-tech in May and automotive in July.

The strategies will set out how our partnerships will help the UK respond to and seize the challenges of new forms of aircraft and low emission, low-noise engines; the cars of the future in a low-carbon environment and the challenge of harnessing agricultural science to achieve sustainable improvement of agriculture in the UK and overseas.

Today, we are publishing the aerospace industrial strategy. The delivery of the strategy will be supported through a joint, equally funded Government/industry investment of £2 billion over seven years to create a new UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI). Based on the UK’s potential to develop technology to sustain and grow its future market share in aerospace, the ATI could secure up to 115,000 jobs in the sector and its supply chains in the long term.

The strategy has been developed jointly with business through the aerospace growth partnership, which we established in 2010. It builds on the strategic vision published at the Farnborough air show last July. It sets out an ambitious programme to keep the UK firmly at the forefront of world aerospace manufacturing and ensure that we can address the challenges of increasing global competition and changes in technology. It is based on ensuring that the UK has the capabilities to be at the leading edge of the design, development and production of wings, engines, aerostructures and advanced systems.

The aerospace sector employs 230,000 people across the UK. It is a key part of our advanced manufacturing base providing work for around 3,000 companies of all sizes. With forecast demand for around 27,000 new large passenger aircraft, worth $3.7 trillion, between now and 2030 this is a sector with real growth potential. However, new manufacturing processes, new skills and a flexible and adaptable supply chain will be critical if the UK is to grasp these opportunities. This strategy sets out how Government and industry will work together to address these challenges.

(A step change in technology is needed if these aircraft are going to deliver the improvements in efficiency and environmental performance needed to make air travel sustainable. The UK is well placed to lead on developing many of these technologies, but we need to start now if we are to have the right capabilities in place. As part of the strategy we will build on our earlier investment in the UK Aerodynamics Centre and create a new Aerospace Technology Institute. Over the next seven years the Government will invest £1 billion in this initiative, a commitment that industry has pledged to match.

It can take up to 15 years to develop a new aircraft. This strategy gives industry the long-term certainty it needs to ensure that the UK remains ones of the world’s most attractive location for aerospace manufacturing).

A copy of the strategy has been placed in the Library of the House.