A £1bn Advanced Propulsion Centre (£500m from government, match funded by industry) will support the UK as a leading centre for innovation.
Expected to open in 2014, the APC will look to develop, commercialise and enable the manufacture of advanced propulsion technologies in the UK following strategic direction from the Automotive Council, its work stream and members.
The APC is backed by 27 companies in the sector, including supply chain companies, and is expected to secure at least 30,000 jobs currently linked to producing engines and create many more in the supply chain. With a supply chain yet to be developed anywhere in the world for this next generation of technologies, the APC represents an opportunity for the UK to build a global competitive advantage.
£500m additional funding for OLEV to 2020
Also, the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin announced that the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will receive an additional £500m funding to 2020 to advance ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) technology and encourage their uptake. The announcement was made in a Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) outlining government’s roads reform command paper ‘Action for Roads’, which provides further detail on roads investment following the Spending Round.
Automotive Sector Strategy launched
The Advanced Propulsion Centre was announced as part of the launch of the Automotive Sector Strategy. Developed collaboratively between industry and government, the Strategy sets out a clear vision and ambition for the industry; building on the investment, growth and innovation that is already happening and ensuring all potential opportunities can be realised.
The Strategy features four key themes:
• Technology: how our vehicles are powered in future
• Supply chain: how Government and industry can work together to grow the UK supply chain and win more overseas business
• Skills: how the right skills are in place to build on the success of the sector
• Business environment: how to maintain the UK’s competitiveness in the global auto industry
Key highlights from the Strategy include:
• The establishment of an Automotive Investment Organisation (£3m over two years) to ensure the UK can proactively support more global investment in the UK, building on the £6bn already committed to automotive over the last two years
• A skills roadmap and commitment to upskill – increasing the numbers of both graduates and apprentices joining the industry
• Actions with the banking sector to improve access to finance – addressing automotive specific challenges such as tooling finance
• Confirmation of shared ambitions for the UK to be a leading market, innovator and producer of ultra-low emission vehicles
• A business environment that enables a competitive automotive industry, through identifying and seeking to address key challenges