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Cable announces £129m for nine reshoring projects

05 March, 2014

The UK business secretary Vince Cable has announced the latest steps the government is taking to help manufacturers to “reshore” – bring production and jobs back to the UK from low-cost countries in the East.

In a speech at EEF’s National Manufacturing Conference, Cable welcomed EEF research showing that one in six companies had reshored production in the past three years. He also announced the latest beneficiaries of a £245m government supply chain fund that is helping to rebuild British manufacturing.

Nine projects will receive £129m of support – £53m from the government, and more than £75m of private money. The projects will create 1,369 jobs directly and safeguard a further 2,525. At least 57 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are involved in the successful consortia, which represent a wide range of sectors.

“Britain is starting to win back business on the basis of hard-headed business decisions based on quality and good performance,” Cable said. “Through our industrial strategy, the government is working in partnership with business to nurture these encouraging signs.

“Our backing for skills, apprenticeships, supply chains, innovation and new technologies is creating the right environment for business to invest here,” he added. “The supply chain funding announced today is another practical example of intelligently targeted government support helping UK firms to keep ahead of the game.

One of the nine winners in the fourth round of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) is Crown Packaging, based in Didcot and Wantage, which will receive a £1.9m grant for a £3.8m project it is leading with partners in West Yorkshire and Carlisle. The aim is to develop an innovative metal-can manufacturing process, creating up to 32 permanent jobs and safeguarding 267 more.

Clearview Traffic is receiving a £4m to help reshore production of its solar-powered road studs to the UK

Another winner is Bicester-based Clearview Traffic Group which is relocating manufacture of “intelligent” solar-powered road studs from overseas to the UK as part of a £6m project to streamline its supply chain, strengthen intellectual property and boost overseas sales. Supported by a £4m AMSCI grant, Clearview will work with two other British businesses, Zeta Specialist Lighting and AEV, on the project which will reshore 49 jobs and safeguard 37 existing UK jobs. The road studs are said to offer ten times better visibility of the road ahead than traditional cat’s eyes.

A third beneficiary is Milton Keynes-based Computerised Information Technology which will receive £2.3m towards a £3.3m project to develop a computer-controlled system for detecting defects in 3D objects. The process will prevent waste, reduce product recalls, cut materials costs and energy use, and lower carbon emissions. Up to 15 jobs will be created.

Cable also announced that the Reshore UK service is now operating. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is working with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) and partners in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, for the one-stop-shop service that helps companies to bring production back to the UK. Reshore UK offers a matching and location service, and access to advice and support. 

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