By Andrew Sales, via Wikimedia Commons
Vince Cable cropped
The Government has freed up £100 million to help strengthen manufacturing supply chains and support the growing campaign to drive British manufacturing via a scheme that has already boosted 3D printing in the UK.
Companies can now bid for a share of the money, which has been made available through the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI). It is aimed at providing research and development support, training and investment capital, and will encourage major new suppliers to bring their manufacturing operations home.
Business Secretary Vince Cable stated: "A strong manufacturing sector is vital to a balanced economic recovery and I want to ensure that Britain’s supply chains are up to the task of supporting the sector in the long term.
"Our industrial strategy, which has given business the confidence to invest, is paying dividends in the reshoring we have seen so far. We will continue to support businesses to secure more highly skilled jobs and a stronger economy."
Nearly half a billion pounds of private-public investment has been secured for 44 projects over the AMSCI's past five rounds of funding in the UK. This latest boost for manufacturing could further the UK's additive manufacturing industry, enabling more businesses to adopt the advanced manufacturing technology and train staff to operate both the hardware and software.
Indeed, a previous round of AMSCI funding has been put towards technology for increasing the scale of 3D printing with metals, as well as reshoring the production of cats' eyes from overseas.
Moreover, AMSCI funding has supported the creation of a 'National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme' led by the Aerospace Growth Partnership in order to address skills gaps and improve research and development collaboration throughout the aerospace sector. The £35 million project aims to create nearly 5,000 jobs throughout the supply chain.
The manufacturing sector supports some 2.5 million British jobs and contributes almost £140 billion a year to the UK economy.
Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, Terry Scuoler commented: "This is another welcome boost for British manufacturing, which will have a positive impact on the wider economy. Our own research shows that in the last three years, one in six companies have re-shored production back to the UK with many turning to a UK-based supply chain for parts and components. High value manufacturing creates jobs and wealth here so I'm delighted to see the Government getting behind it."
For full details on how to bid for the latest round of AMSCI funding, click here.
This story follows news UK automotive manufacturing is improving, with April 2014 seeing 133,437 cars roll off the production line within the space of the 30-day month - the largest monthly rise since July 2012.