FANUC welcomes £4.5bn windfall for UK manufacturing

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Leading factory automation supplier FANUC UK has welcomed the recent government announcement of a £4.5bn windfall for the UK manufacturing industry.

The cash includes £2bn for the automotive industry, £975m for aerospace and £960m for clean energy, the funding will be available to UK manufacturers from 2025, following the next General Election, that has to be held by January 2025.

“This package of loans and grants will help to provide the industry with some much-needed long-term certainty,” said Tom Bouchier, managing director of FANUC UK.

“As the eighth largest manufacturing nation in the world – and still the only developed country without a coherent Industrial Strategy – we punch well above our weight.

"To keep driving forward and maintain our strong position on the international stage, UK manufacturers need clarity and certainty to enable them to invest for the future and increase their productivity further through advanced technologies such as automation and digitalisation. This funding package will go a long way towards enabling them to do that.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Britain is now the eighth largest manufacturer in the world, recently overtaking France. To build on this success, we are targeting funding to support the sectors where the UK is or could be world-leading.

Our £4.5bn of funding will leverage many times that from the private sector, and in turn will grow our economy, create more skilled, higher-paid jobs in new industries that will be built to last.”

In addition, the government has also agreed to expand the Made Smarter Adoption programme, which aims to accelerate growth among SME manufacturers. In 2025-26, the scheme will be rolled out across all the whole of England before its UK-wide expansion from 2026-27.

The programme helps SMEs to use advanced digital technologies in a bid to drive up productivity and reduce carbon emissions, and also includes digital internships.

“At our FANUC Open House event last week (14-16 Nov), the key themes among speakers and attendees alike were how UK manufacturers can increase their sustainability credentials; helping them prepare for the future of manufacturing with advanced technologies; and encouraging a pipeline of new talent into the industry,” said Bouchier.

“The announcement of the Made Smarter expansion plays directly into all these areas. Helping SMEs to compete on the international stage through advanced technologies such as automation and digitalisation – and ensuring we have a workforce with the skills required to capitalise on these – will keep the UK’s manufacturing industry thriving in the years and decades to come.”