Job boost from first round of Government manufacturing initiative

More than 2,160 jobs are estimated to be created or safeguarded by successful bids from the first round of the Government's 125 million Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

Approximately 80 million of joint public and private sector investment is also set to be provided to help finance and strengthen 11 manufacturing supply chain projects across the automotive, aerospace and chemical sectors.

Around 30 million of this investment has been awarded from the initiative subject to due diligence, while 50 million is to be pulled from private sector partners.

The scheme is working to boost UK supply chains alongside other Whitehall initiatives such as the Regional Growth Fund, the Manufacturing Advisory Service and the work of UK Trade and Investment.

Manufacturing accounts for over half of the UK's exports, as well as nearly three quarters of business research and development activity, and Vince Cable stated it is therefore "vital" to encourage growth in the industry.

"Through this initiative Government and industry can work together to help UK supply chains become more globally competitive, and plug the gaps that act as barriers to efficiency and expansion," said the Business Secretary.

He added that the successful applications in round one will bring together businesses and forge new partnerships across supply chains, thus strengthening the UK's presence on both the European and World stages.

One such winning project from round one is an advanced manufacturing factory designed to focus on the mass production of new low carbon technologies in Yorkshire and the surrounding area.

Others include an automotive supplier in the West Midlands that is enlarging and improving its manufacturing facility, and a next generation bio-process manufacturing capability being developed in the Tees Valley.

Birmingham City Council helps to deliver the AMSCI, along with the Technology Strategy Board, on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Sir Albert Bore, leader of the authority, described the partnership as "ground-breaking".

"We are making use of new legislation which gives local authorities the powers for the first time to operate outside their region at a national and even an international level," he commented.

"We hope this will be a model BIS and central government will use again."

Copyright Press Association 2012