UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Investing for Growth

Press Release   •   Dec 10, 2009 10:54 GMT

New investments in businesses and technologies with strong potential to support sustainable economic growth were announced by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson today.

Lord Mandelson welcomed the additional £200 million announced in today’s Pre Budget Report for the Government’s Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), which emerging technologies across the UK are using to strengthen their capacity for innovation, job creation and growth.

The additional £200 million brings the SIF total allocation to £950 million and includes £150 million for low-carbon investment.

Among the projects the additional money will fund are:

  • £50 million for the further development of the offshore wind industry in the UK, focused on funding for new off-shore wind energy manufacturing facilities
  • £5 million additional funding to the Technology Strategy Board to set up new prize funds for emerging technologies
  • £30 million to support low carbon transport projects including an expansion of the TSB's current ultra low-carbon vehicles competition
  • £40 million for other low carbon projects
  • £30 million for the chemicals industry on Teesside (part of the £60 million investment announced Tuesday 8 December) to lead the way in demonstrating how to decarbonise the process industry, while maintaining competitiveness

Today’s announcement adds to the £750 million allocated in the April Budget to SIF, which targets government support on markets and technologies where the UK has proven strengths and competitive potential.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said:

“The Government’s investment in Britain’s new industries is laying the foundations for strong, sustainable growth and a more balanced economy where manufacturing, innovation and new technologies create high-value jobs across the UK.

“There are huge opportunities for British businesses as they grow out of the recession. The Strategic Investment Fund is helping them compete in new global markets and low carbon manufacturing by investing in skills, research and infrastructure.

“Money from the Strategic Investment Fund has been agreed for some of the most forward-looking projects on the planet: the biggest wave farm in the world, centres of excellence for the video games industry, British digital infrastructure and UK export promotion.”

Three further projects to be funded from SIF were also announced today:

  • £11.5 million for the world’s largest wind turbine blade testing facility in the north east
  • £10 million investment in a £44 million High Performance Computing Institute in Wales which will focus on providing support to key industrial sectors
  • £12 million for the transformational Edinburgh BioQuarter - a £24 million partnership project involving Scottish Enterprise, the University of Edinburgh, the NHS and Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc that will support the growth of new and emerging life sciences companies

A significant amount of the funding is being invested jointly with key delivery partners such as the Technology Strategy Board and it is also leveraging money from the private sector.

Notes to editors

1.      The additional £200 million is £100 million of redirected funds and an extra £100 million from Treasury. £45 million of the SIF extension remains to be allocated.

2.      Projects that are already benefitting from SIF contributions include:

·        Sedgefield, County Durham: £12 million contribution to the expansion of the Printable Electronics Centre

·        Sheffield: £15 million support for capital investment for the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

·        Manchester University: £4 million from SIF for civil nuclear research facilities

·        £10m of SIF funding has been earmarked by TSB to develop digital test-beds where we will create an environment where businesses can explore new business models

·        Dundee and Salford: £3.5 million to Video Games Centres of Excellence

·        Wilton: £12 million of support for an Industrial Biotechnology demonstrator and a £2.5 million fund to enable small and medium sized companies to access demonstration facilities

·        Cornwall: £9.5 million to support Wave Hub, a ground breaking project that will help accelerate the development and deployment of wave and tidal energy

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

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