Government backs high-tech industry with £930m investment in regional centres

Manufacturing and research facilities across eight regions given cash injection

Credit: PA

The government is to invest an extra £750m in boosting a range of “high-tech hubs” across Britain.

The funding, which was announced by chancellor Philip Hammond, will be put into labs, factories, and training facilities located in a number of clusters across England, Wales, and Scotland. The money comes on top of funding that the government has already committed, and takes the total investment across eight regions to almost £930m.

  • The West Midlands has been allocated £270.9m to invest in the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, the Manufacturing Group in Warwick, and Birmingham’s Energy Systems Catapult.
  • In the North East, the government will invest £180.3m in the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in Blyth, and the Centre for Process innovation in Redcar.
  • The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Rotherham and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield and Rotherham will receive a cumulative £126.7m, as part of the funding package for Yorkshire and the Humber.
  • Strathclyde’s Advanced Research Centre has been chosen to receive £96m, as part of the government’s efforts to stimulate the high-tech sector in Scotland.
  • The Greater London area will benefit from a £70.6m investment in the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, which has sites in the capital and in Stevenage.
  • Oxfordshire’s Satellite Applications Centre will be the recipient of the £68.3m the government is putting into the South East region.
  • The South West will receive backing of £65.4m, which will be invested in the National Composite Centre in Bristol.
  • The government will invest £51.3m in Wales. This money will be put into the Cardiff-based Compound Semiconductor Catapult.

Hammond said that the new investment would not only help the country produce world-leading technology, but would deliver “the better, highly-paid jobs we urgently need”.

Business secretary Greg Clark added: “This government wants to make the UK the most innovative nation in the world and the investment in our world-leading catapult network will play a key role in building on UK strengths, bringing new ideas and products to market and helping drive local economies across the UK.”

Sam Trendall

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