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Volume 567: debated on Tuesday 10 September 2013

15. What recent assessment he has made of the contribution to the economy made by the manufacturing sector. (900233)

Manufacturing output grew in the most recent quarter by 0.7%, contributing to the growth of the economy as a whole. Growth was broadly based. In June, output increased in all 13 of the published manufacturing sectors, the first time that this has happened since 1992. The whole House will welcome today’s news that Jaguar Land Rover is to create a further 1,700 new jobs in the west midlands and 24,000 jobs in the supply chain.

I thank the Minister very much for that answer. Does he agree that the news that manufacturing output has increased to its highest level in 20 years, as exemplified by firms such as Renishaw, Xograph and Delphi in my constituency, represents a good start to the rebalancing of the British economy?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I pay tribute to him for doing his bit in an important cluster of manufacturing businesses in Stroud. He has invented and promoted the festival of manufacturing and engineering in Stroud, which will take place between 11 and 15 November, helping to give a further boost to the already successful companies in Gloucestershire.

According to the Office for National Statistics, Corby is the manufacturing capital of the UK, but over the past three years our businesses have survived despite this Government’s policies not because of them. Will the Minister look again at the decision to pick winners in the boat-building industry and not to award money from the regional growth fund to my local firm, Fairline Boats?

The hon. Gentleman is wrong in his assessment. He failed to say that the 13% collapse in manufacturing happened during the last three years of the previous Government. In the first three years of this Government, it has recovered. He mentioned the regional growth fund—paying tribute, I assume, to another successful intervention, which has helped firms such as JLR and will help others, including in the east midlands.