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Greater Manchester Investment Zone to focus on advanced manufacturing

Posted on 28 Nov 2023 and read 286 times
Greater Manchester Investment Zone to focus on advanced manufacturingA new Investment Zone for Greater Manchester, announced by the Chancellor in last week’s Autumn Statement, is expected to create 32,000 jobs and leverage £1.1 billion of private sector investment. The Investment Zone will provide £160 million in public funding over 10 years to support initiatives and interventions agreed between Greater Manchester and the Government, which will include new research and innovation, sector-focused skills programmes, local infrastructure enhancements, and targeted business support.

The Investment Zone will focus on the advanced materials and manufacturing sector. The package will support established strengths, including ID Manchester and other assets in the city-region core, and build on longer-term ambitions to scale up and deploy innovations in growth businesses, for example through Atom Valley. Anchor investments from Kadant, Werit, First Graphene and Hydrograph worth over £10 million have been made alongside the Investment Zone.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will continue to work with government, the universities in the city-region, and other partners to co-develop the plans for their Investment Zone, including priority development sites and specific interventions to drive cluster growth, ahead of final confirmation of plans.

Jobs and opportunities

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The Investment Zone will help us attract investment and create jobs and opportunities that will benefit people across Greater Manchester. Our city-region has been a centre for manufacturing and materials innovation for centuries, from leading the Industrial Revolution right through to the development of graphene, and the Investment Zone will ensure that continues. It is also a vote of confidence in devolution and its ability to deliver levelling up. Providing more flexibility and local control over spending can help unlock Greater Manchester’s potential.”

Greater Manchester’s advanced manufacturing and materials sector comprises hundreds of innovative companies and the city-region’s universities host world-leading research. Advanced manufacturing alone employs approximately 110,000 people and generates around £8 billion of economic output each year.

In the Autumn Statement, the Government also confirmed plans to extend the Made Smarter Adoption programme following its successful pilot in Greater Manchester and the North West, with a view to expanding the programme across the UK by 2027. The programme helps SME manufacturers adopt digital technologies to help improve productivity and reduce carbon emissions.

Read Machinery Market’s article on industry’s reaction to the Autumn Statement here.