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14 April 2014 | Gurjit Degun
The UK government is to invest £100 million to help English companies strengthen their domestic supply chains, business secretary Vince Cable has announced.
Cable said the money will also create or safeguard thousands of jobs. “The funding will provide support for the increasing trend of reshoring, as companies bring manufacturing back to the UK from abroad,” the government added.
Speaking at MACH, the manufacturing technology exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham, Cable said: “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.”
Previous recipients of funding from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative have included technology for increasing the scale of 3D printing of metals; and reshoring the manufacture of cats’ eyes from overseas to the UK.
Companies across England looking to strengthen their supply chains through capital investments, research and development, and skills training will be able to start bidding for funding later in spring.
CIPS welcomed the move, saying: “More fundamental than cash however is the mind-set of businesses when it comes to managing their own supply chains. Reshoring is encouraged because it brings increased visibility and transparency to lower tiers of supply chains, where abuses such as slavery or fraud typically take place.
“For too long they have been disregarded by CEOs, investors and governments alike. We hope this latest move by government represents a step change for all concerned, but there is a long road ahead.”