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Ministers in the Department have been regularly engaging with with key industry bodies, to understand how we can support the continued resilience and competitiveness of UK manufacturing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organisations include the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Nissan, which has been a critical part of the UK’s automotive industry and the North East’s manufacturing landscape for the past 30 years.
In order to support UK business and industry during the Covid-19 outbreak, the Chancellor has announced an unprecedented package including government-backed and guaranteed loans. We have made an initial £330 billion of guarantees available, alongside the Coronavirus Job Retention and VAT deferral schemes.
The Government also has a long-standing programme of support to maintain the competitiveness of the UK automotive sector. Through our landmark Automotive Sector Deal, we have secured joint investment and long-term commitments to develop world-leading battery technologies, positioning the UK as the location of choice for the development and deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.
The Government, alongside industry, have jointly committed almost £1.5 billion through the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Faraday Battery Challenge to research, develop, and commercialise low carbon automotive innovations. In October last year, we announced up to £1 billion of new money to support research and development, including within supply chains, to support electric vehicle manufacture.