As part of the annual Autumn Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has announced new funding to strengthen the UK’s supply chains in critical sectors for growth, especially manufacturing and innovation industries.
The newly-announced measures form part of a broader government agenda to improve economic activity, with Hunt saying this budget is intended to stimulate “long-term, sustainable, healthy growth”.
Part of a more than £2bn boost for the automotive sector will be used to improve supply chains in this area, especially for the manufacture of zero-emission vehicles and their batteries.
In order to finance increased advanced manufacturing in the UK, the government outlined its priorities for the UK’s Infrastructure Bank to ensure its investment in critical supply chains, particularly those associated with semiconductor manufacturing and critical minerals.
Commenting on the announced increase to the National living Wage, Simon Hobbs, Chief Executive of Kinaxia Logistics, said: “Our economy needs a lift in sales, so the increase of 9.8% in the National Living Wage to £11.44 an hour, and the 2% reduction in national insurance, will hopefully generate more disposable income and aid the retail recovery – which in turn will create more and much-needed volume for our transport and warehousing sector.
“Through government and industry-funded initiatives such as Generation Logistics, we are trying to raise the sector’s profile and attract more entrants to our important industry.
“The commitment to ‘bust the planning backlog’ and reform the planning system will hopefully speed up necessary improvements in the UK’s transport infrastructure and the building of secure driver roadside facilities.”
What’s more, to ensure the UK continues to build strong supply chains and advances its opportunities for global growth, Hunt announced a £960m Green Industries Growth Accelerator (GIGA).
GIGA has been set up to support investments into manufacturing for clean energy, including Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), hydrogen, offshore wind, electricity networks and nuclear.
Some of the major ambitions behind GIGA include encouraging private investment, protecting and creating jobs and use the transition to net zero as a chance to make improvements throughout the nation’s supply chains.
Funding worth £4.5bn will be made available starting in 2025-26 and last for five years for the following manufacturing sub-sectors: automotive, aerospace, life sciences and clean energy.