The UK government has announced £4.5 billion ($5.59 billion) in funding for key manufacturing industries, with £2 billion earmarked for the automotive sector to transition to zero-emission vehicles, Kallanish reports.

The funding, to be available from 2025 for five years, is part of the Autumn Statement scheduled to be presented by finance minister Jeremy Hunt this week. With the UK’s manufacturing sector accounting for 43% of the country’s exports, the funding targets eight key sectors across the country. 

Some £960m will support a Green Industries Growth Accelerator to advance domestic clean energy supply chains, including carbon capture, utilisation and storage, electricity networks, hydrogen, nuclear and offshore wind. Another £975 million has been allocated for aerospace and £520 million committed to the life sciences sector, the government said on Friday.

“Our £4.5 billion of funding will leverage many times that from the private sector, and in turn will grow our economy, creating more skilled, higher-paid jobs in new industries that will be built to last,” Hunt said in a statement.

The government’s latest funding announcement was welcomed by the automotive industry, with Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), calling it an “unequivocal vote of confidence” in the country’s automotive sector. 

“This additional government investment reflects the fact the UK automotive sector has the talent, the innovation and the determination necessary to thrive in the face of fierce global competition,” Hawes added. “It will deliver benefits not just for the automotive sector but for the whole country in terms of growth, high value jobs and productivity. It also sends a powerful signal that the UK is open for business.”

Lisa Brankin, Ford UK Chair, said the industry will now be looking for this week’s Autumn Statement to help ease the cost for consumers of making the switch to electric vehicles. “We have already invested over £400m to transform Ford facilities in the UK to develop and produce electric vehicle components,” she noted.

The government has also allocated a further £150 million to the Connected and Automated Mobility Research and Development programme to deploy self-driving vehicles and services. The country’s first battery strategy, which outlines the government’s plan to achieve a “globally competitive” battery supply chain in the UK by 2030, is also expected to be published this week.