Government announces £4.5bn to boost UK manufacturing; £2bn for automotive sector

Wed 22 November 2023 View all news

The Government has announced plans to invest £4.5bn by 2030 to increase investment in eight key sectors across the UK. £2bn has been earmarked for the automotive industry and there is a £960m fund for a “green industries growth accelerator” programme to support manufacturing within clean energy sectors.

In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor also promised reform of the National Planning Policy Framework to accelerate chargepoint infrastructure, speed up grid connections for clean energy as well as providing support for sustainable aviation.

The plans for £4.5bn to support UK manufacturing were announced five days before the Autumn Statement. The Chancellor said that measures are aimed at stimulating economic growth. The £2bn investment, the biggest ever to support the automotive sector, will focus on the manufacturing, supply chain and development of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “These targeted investments will ensure the UK remains competitive in sectors where we are already leaders and innovative in areas where we are not. Taken together across our fastest-growing innovation sectors, this support alone will attract an estimated £2bn of additional investment every year over the next decade.”

The Chancellor said he wanted to make it easier to create a better electricity grid. The Government published its response to the Winser review and Connections Action Plan alongside the Autumn Statement, which it says will cut grid access times for larger projects by half and also halve the time to build major grid upgrades.

Hunt said: “It is taking too long for clean energy businesses to access the electricity grid... These measures will cut grid access delays by 90% and offer up to £10,000 off electricity bills over 10 years for those living closest to new transmission infrastructure. Taken together these planning and grid reforms are estimated to accelerate around £90bn of additional business investment over the next 10 years.”

In a publication to accompany the Autumn Statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) was widely reported to have cut future forecasts of electric vehicle uptake. The OBR says that it now expects EVs to account for 18% of sales, down from 25%, in 2023, and down from 67% to 38%, in 2027. The OBR's forecasts appear, however, to have been aligned with the sales projections contained in the recently published Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate. 


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