Government fund ‘breaks barrier to auto supplier growth’

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A £24 million government fund has been launched and is set to give UK-based automotive suppliers a boost as they look to grow their businesses.

Announced today by Business Minister Michael Fallon at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' (SMMT's) Meet the Buyer event at ExCeL London, the Tooling Funding Programme will help component manufacturers design, develop and manufacture new tooling where they would otherwise fail to acquire funds. Fallon said: "Government and industry are working together to boost UK supply chain competitiveness and growth. Our automotive industrial strategy sets out how we will secure the long-term future of the sector – by growing the UK share of the value chain, and by getting ahead of the game in research and development for the vehicles of tomorrow. "This fund is a practical example of how we are working in partnership with industry to break down barriers to growth. Manufacturing is driving the UK's recovery and our vibrant automotive sector is leading the way." UK-built cars currently only feature around 35% UK-sourced components. Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, "A competitive supply chain is a vital ingredient in a successful automotive industry. Yet many UK suppliers have found it difficult to access funding, restricting their ability to exploit the local opportunities created by the expanding vehicle manufacturing sector. The new Tooling Funding Programme is a welcome initiative which should help UK component manufacturers compete and win new business."