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Advanced Manufacturing

Volume 746: debated on Monday 4 March 2024

Today the Government have announced over £360 million of joint Government and industry investment in 16 UK advanced manufacturing projects, securing highly skilled jobs, building a stronger economy and cementing the UK as a global leader in industries of the future.

This involves a combined industry and Government investment of almost £73 million in projects to accelerate the development of zero-emission vehicle technology in the UK, almost £200 million in projects to develop energy efficient and zero-carbon aircraft technology, and almost £92 million in life science manufacturing projects. The funding awarded is targeted to support the sectors where the UK is or could be world-leading and is designed to unlock investment from the private sector to help grow our economy.

The Chancellor is also announcing an up to £120 million increase to the green industries growth accelerator (GIGA) to support clean energy manufacturing. Around £390 million has been earmarked to expand UK-based supply chains for electricity networks and offshore wind sectors, and around £390 million for the carbon capture, utilisation and storage and hydrogen sectors. This is alongside the £300 million previously announced for UK production of the fuel required to power high-tech new nuclear reactors, known as HALEU.

The GIGA funding will enable the UK to seize growth opportunities through the transition to net zero, building on our world-leading decarbonisation track record. It forms part of the Government’s priority to grow the economy focusing on making the right long-term decisions for a brighter future by creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.

This follows £4.5 billion announced in the 2023 autumn statement to increase investment in strategic manufacturing sectors—auto, aero, life sciences and clean energy—across the UK for five years from 2025. This autumn statement announcement included £975 million in funding for the aerospace sector, and the Government have confirmed that this will be allocated to the Aerospace Technology Institute programme.

Alongside this, the Government are setting out further details of the £50 million apprenticeship growth sector pilot announced in the 2023 autumn statement. The pilot will boost funding for eligible providers delivering 13 high-value advanced manufacturing and engineering, green and life sciences apprenticeships standards, and will explore ways to stimulate training and break down barriers to delivery of high-quality training, with a particular focus on up-front capital investment costs.