£125 million to develop UK manufacturing supply chain

8 December 2011

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8 December 2011 | Adam Leach

The government has announced £125 million of funding for suppliers to UK manufacturers to compete for to enhance supply chains.

The investment, announced yesterday by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), will be aimed at both established industries such as aerospace, chemicals and the automotive sector and emerging sectors such as renewable energy and low-carbon technology.

While the application process will not start until the new year, vendors have been invited to declare an interest in the scheme this month, so they can be given more detailed information on how to apply. BIS will also be promoting the opportunity for suppliers, particularly SMEs, to submit joint applications that demonstrate the potential benefits of a proposal across the whole supply chain.

The initiative is intended to support projects that will strengthen the operation of domestic supply chains, funding a range of areas such as equipment investment, research and development and skills and training.

Announcing the fund, business secretary Vince Cable explained the impact of events such as the Japanese earthquake on global supply chains highlighted the need to have a stronger domestic offering.

“Recent economic and natural shocks such as the ash clouds, tsunami and Japanese earthquake have shown the fragility of long-distance and single-source supply chains,” he said. “I want to seize on the increased preference that big global companies are showing for co-locating key elements of their supply chains with their UK manufacturing operations.”

The idea also won the support of the CBI. Director-general John Cridland said: “We welcome this new initiative, which will help build UK supply chain capability and resilience. It will enhance our manufacturing competitiveness and build on strengths in advanced engineering, research and innovation.”

The recent funding boost follows on from a decision by BIS in October to approve bids to the value of £915 million in order to support growth in the UK manufacturing sector.


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