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25 June 2014 | Anna Scott
A £24 million government fund has been set up to aid UK suppliers to the automotive industry.
The Tooling Funding Programme aims to help component manufacturers design, develop and manufacture new tooling when they would otherwise fail to acquire funds.
Car output in the UK is expected to reach all-time record volumes by 2017, yet UK-built cars currently only include about 35 per cent of components sourced from the UK.
“This fund is a practical example of how we are working in partnership with industry to break down barriers to growth,” said business minister Michael Fallon.
“Our automotive industrial strategy sets out how we will secure the long-term future of the sector – by growing the UK share of the value chain, and by getting ahead of the game in research and development for the vehicles of tomorrow.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) welcomed the announcement, adding it should help UK component manufacturers compete and win new business.
“A competitive supply chain is a vital ingredient in a successful automotive industry,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive. “Yet many UK suppliers have found it difficult to access funding, restricting their ability to exploit the local opportunities created by the expanding vehicle manufacturing sector."