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Business Maverick

Hunt announces UK manufacturing funding in budget growth push

Hunt announces UK manufacturing funding in budget growth push
An electric car pulls away from a plug-in electric juice point in Westminster, London, Britain, 08 May 2008. (Photo: EPA/ANDY RAIN)

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced new funding to support the UK’s manufacturing sector, ahead of his budget Wednesday that he said would focus on long-term growth.

The Treasury said in a statement that firms across the life sciences, automotive and aerospace sectors would benefit from a £360-million R8.7-billion) package of government and industry investment. The statement didn’t specify how much of the £360-million would be coming from the government.

The funding would mean “millions of pounds of investment to make the UK a world leader in manufacturing,” Hunt said in the statement. “We’re sticking with our plan by backing the industries of the future.”

The funding package comes ahead of Hunt’s delivery of his budget on Wednesday, a major moment for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration as it seeks to close a significant poll gap versus the opposition Labour Party ahead of a general election expected later this year. In a series of interviews with broadcasters on Sunday, Hunt said his fiscal plan would try to boost economic growth and that he wanted to “make progress” on cutting taxes.

Of the £360-million announced by the Treasury, it said almost £200-million would go toward research & development in aerospace, including £96-million in projects led by Airbus SE. Another £92-million will go toward life sciences and almost £73-million to automotives, it said.

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