23
November
2023
|
09:27
Europe/London

Greater Manchester Investment Zone targets growth and jobs in advanced manufacturing sector

●      More than 30,000 jobs and £1 billion of private sector investment forecast for the Greater Manchester Investment Zone.

●      £160 million of public funding to boost growth of city-region’s advanced manufacturing and materials sector.

●      Investments worth over £10m from manufacturers Kadant, Werit, First Graphene and Hydrograph unveiled as part of Investment Zone.

A new Investment Zone for Greater Manchester, announced by the Chancellor in today’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 Government, which will include new research and innovation, sector-focussed skills programmes, local infrastructure enhancements, and targeted business support.

Greater Manchester’s Investment Zone will focus on the advanced materials and manufacturing sector. The package will support established strengths, including ID Manchester, a joint venture between The University of Manchester and Bruntwood SciTech and other assets in the city-region core, and build on longer-term ambitions to be able to scale up and deploy innovations in our growth businesses, for example through Atom Valley.

ID Manchester will become a world-class innovation platform that drives inclusive and sustainable economic growth for the city by leveraging the unique experience and expertise of its joint venture partners, combining The University of Manchester's long history of industry collaboration and world-class research strengths with Bruntwood SciTech's experience of working in strategic partnership with city councils, universities and NHS Trusts to deliver connected science and technology infrastructure.

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.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

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’s 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.”

Professor Richard Jones, Vice-President for Regional Innovation and Civic Engagement at The University of Manchester, said: “The University of Manchester has been at the forefront of research in advanced materials and manufacturing, from the industrial revolution to the discovery of graphene, and we have a strong culture of innovation which builds on that research to create economic benefit. This announcement gives further impetus to the work we do with our partners in business and the city-region, to improve people’s lives through economic growth and improved productivity throughout Greater Manchester.” 

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

Government has 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.

Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Lead for Economy, Business, and Inclusive Growth, said: “Greater Manchester has an attractive proposition, with world-leading advanced manufacturing and materials research at our universities, a strong skills base, and an existing ecosystem of innovative companies.

“The Investment Zone will build on that cluster, linking and investing in different sites across the city-region, and helping us translate research and development and new discoveries into business growth.”

Speaking on behalf of ID Manchester, John Holden, Associate Vice-President at The University of Manchester, said: "We’re delighted that ID Manchester will be part of the Greater Manchester Investment Zone plans to put the region at the forefront of advanced materials and manufacturing innovation in the UK and globally. The ecosystem we’re building at ID Manchester will leverage The University of Manchester’s world-class R&D strengths to help scale and commercialise new ideas, driving new jobs across the city region in future-facing industries. We look forward to working closely with our neighbouring centres of innovation in Greater Manchester to create valuable new opportunities for local residents and businesses across the North.”

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