TOOLING: Business Minister adds financial muscle
UK-based automotive suppliers are welcoming the £24million of government funding aimed at boosting their businesses.
Business Minister Michael Fallon announced this week that the Tooling Funding Programme will help component manufacturers design, develop and manufacture new tooling where they would otherwise fail to acquire funds.
Mr Fallon said: “Government and industry are working together to boost UK supply chain competitiveness and growth.
“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.
“This fund is a practical example of how we are working in partnership with industry to break down barriers to growth.
“Manufacturing is driving the UK’s recovery and our vibrant automotive sector is leading the way.”
UK automotive manufacturing is enjoying a renaissance, with car output set to reach all-time record volumes by 2017.
Developing a more competitive domestic supply chain to keep pace with this growth is one of the major challenges facing the sector, however.
This is because UK-built cars currently only feature around 35% UK-sourced components.
Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, added: “A competitive supply chain is a vital ingredient in a successful automotive industry.
“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.
“The new Tooling Funding Programme is a welcome initiative which should help UK component manufacturers compete and win new business.”