To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department spent on supporting the manufacturing sector in each of the last three years.
BIS does not measure its expenditure by sector but by function, for example, during the past three years we have spent £43.8 million on the Grant for Business Investment, (which was the predecessor of the Regional Growth Fund and from which the manufacturing sector has been a key beneficiary) and £52.8 million on the Manufacturing Advisory Service.
Overall, the Government provides a wide range of support to the manufacturing sector. We announced a package of measures at the 2011 Budget in the “Plan for Growth” to help manufacturing firms commercialise technological innovations, boost access to a skilled workforce and improve the image of the sector.
In the autumn statement further measures were announced that will benefit manufacturers including an additional £6.3 billion—of which £1.3 billion was announced earlier in the year—in infrastructure investment over this spending review period, and a further £5 billion in the next. We are now committing £2.4 billion to the Regional Growth Fund and £25 million to a Higher Apprenticeships Fund. In addition, we will be providing £59 million to the modernised Manufacturing Advisory Service between 2012 and 2015. There will also be more funding for science and innovation. Furthermore, on