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Government’s LTASC fund provides £54m boost to automotive sector

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A Government-backed scheme has delivered a £54 million boost to England’s automotive supply chain.

The £13 million Long Term Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness (LTASC) programme stimulated an extra £41 million from private investment into England’s vehicle manufacturing supply base, driving growth and securing thousands of jobs in the sector, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which managed the project.

Launched in 2014, LTASC helped 27 England-based suppliers to compete globally, creating or safeguarding 3,200 jobs and underpinning vehicle assembly at several leading automotive brands.

Suppliers improved their manufacturing processes, R&D capabilities and skills, leading to growth in turnover, diversification into new markets and approved supplier status.

Following many years of hollowing out, the UK automotive supply chain is now enjoying a renaissance with the local content of British made cars increasing to 44%, up from 36% in 2011.

Business secretary Greg Clark, said, “The UK’s automotive industry is one of our biggest success stories that continues to attract significant investment from leading manufacturers. The Long Term Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness programme has proven the value of our support and investment in the sector and helped power us towards our goal of increasing UK content in domestically produced vehicles to 50% by 2022.

“Through our Industrial Strategy and Automotive Sector Deal, we are building on this success and continuing our partnership with industry to make UK suppliers even more competitive in the global market to ensure the industry continues to go from strength to strength.”   

A Successor scheme, the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL), is due to start later in 2018 and provide a £16m fund to support vehicle manufacturing in the UK. The scheme will be managed by the SMMT.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Supporting employment and investment into the supply chain is critical to the future health of automotive manufacturing in the UK. The LTASC programme shows how a relatively modest initial government investment can leverage considerable industry backing, delivering huge long-term benefits. It’s a fantastic example of collaboration between public and private sectors creating and safeguarding thousands of jobs in this globally competitive industry. With the new NMCL fund, announced as part of the Automotive Sector Deal, we expect to see an acceleration of the competitiveness, confidence and capability of automotive suppliers in the UK.”

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