The UK government is close to approving the £2billion funding drive aimed at accelerating the flourishing auto industry in the region.
The plan will be officially announced at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, and it will help support apprenticeships and skills in the automotive sector. The first part of the plan will see £1billion of government funding matched by the automotive industry, and overall, it will boost development and research in new engines, including hydrogen, electric and eco-friendly technologies.
This investment includes an advanced propulsion centre, which will be created to lead the research. This strategy is part of Chancellor George Osborne’s intention to accelerate the economic journey from “rescue to recovery”.
“The Chancellor has an opportunity to drive growth in a strategic sector for the UK economy. It is vital our industry’s growth potential is supported through investment, innovation, low-carbon vehicles and skills,” said Mike Baunton, interim chief executive of automotive trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The auto industry in the UK, which has been revived over the past years, now brings an annual turnover of £55billion, accounting for 10% of the British exports and supports 700,000 jobs.