Budget funding for pharmaceutical and car companies to make UK ‘a world leader’ in manufacturing

Credit: PA

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is to announce funding ahead of the Budget aimed at helping to make the UK “a world leader in manufacturing”.

The package, said to be worth £360 million, is for research and development (R&D) and manufacturing projects across the life sciences, automotive and aerospace sectors.

It includes £92 million joint government and industry investment to expand facilities to make life-saving medicines and diagnostics products.

There is also a £200 million joint investment in zero-carbon aircraft technology to develop a more sustainable aviation sector, and almost £73 million in automotive technology.

Mr Hunt said: “We’re sticking with our plan by backing the industries of the future with millions of pounds of investment to make the UK a world leader in manufacturing, securing the highly skilled jobs of the future and delivering the long-term change our country needs to deliver a brighter future for Britain.”

It is hoped the funding will unlock investment from the private sector and give certainty to investors.

The investment package is part of the government’s plan to grow the economy, boost health resilience and support jobs, Mr Hunt will say on Monday ahead of the Budget.

The funding is for several companies and projects which are making cutting-edge technology in sectors key to economic growth.

It includes £7.5 million for two pharmaceutical companies which are investing a combined £84 million to expand their manufacturing plants in the UK.

Almac, a pharmaceutical company in Northern Ireland, produces drugs to treat diseases such as cancer, heart disease and depression.

The funding includes £7.5 million for two pharmaceutical companies working on life-saving drug treatment. Credit: PA

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, in Pencoed, South Wales, is expanding its facilities producing testing products used to identify a variety of diseases and conditions.

Firms will also soon be able to apply for a share of £520 million funding for life sciences manufacturing which was announced last year.

It is designed to build resilience for future health emergencies such as influenza pandemics and capitalise on the UK’s world-leading R&D.

Competitions for large-scale investments are to open for expressions of interest this summer and for medium and smaller sized companies in the autumn.

More than £2 billion across five years from 2025 was announced in the autumn statement to unlock investment in the manufacturing and development of zero-emission vehicles, batteries and supply chains, the government said.

It is part of the move to the new Auto2030 programme which will deliver support in future. Investors can still apply to the current schemes.

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