Government unveils ambitious Industrial Strategy

The new strategy is intended to "boost productivity, embrace technological change and increase the earning power of people across the UK".

The package of measures includes a further £725 million to be invested over the next three years in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) on top of the £1 billion previously invested in the fund.

This includes £170 million to help create affordable places to live and work that are safer, healthier and use less energy, and up to £210 million to improve early diagnosis and treatment of illnesses.

The white paper also confirms that the Government will go ahead with a series of Sector Deals, with construction, life sciences, automotive and AI the first to benefit.

Greg Clark said: "The way we earn and live our lives as workers, citizens and consumers is being transformed by new technologies. The UK is well-placed to benefit from this new industrial revolution and we start from a position of significant strength. The Industrial Strategy is an unashamedly ambitious vision for the future of our country, laying out how we tackle our productivity challenge, earn our way in the future, and improve living standards across the country."

The strategy also sets out a detailed plan for boosting UK productivity, based on five foundations - ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places. Measures include more funding for technical education and STEM skills as well as investment in transport, housing and digital infrastructure. A key ambition is to raise total R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP (from 1.7%) by 2027.

Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors (IoD), said: "The Industrial Strategy identifies the key challenges that the UK economy will need to overcome if businesses are to remain competitive in an increasingly global race. It also takes some important steps in starting the flow of public investment to overcome these hurdles. We hope it will become the cornerstone of a long-term vision of post-Brexit Britain, one that promotes innovation and the free flow of ideas."

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "Chambers of Commerce have been working actively with Government to develop the Industrial Strategy, and we are pleased that the concerns and ideas of business communities across the country have been listened to. Over the coming months, it is crucial that the Government listens to the full range of business voices when developing local and sector-based deals, so that firms of all sizes and sectors can buy into the strategy for years to come."

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