Spring Budgets Impact on UK Manufacturing

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Date: June 10, 2024

Each year, the spring budget is a crucial time for UK manufacturing as we wait to see what the report says and adapt accordingly to continue growing our businesses in this highly competitive field. Despite this latest report still being new, it has already revealed fascinating new developments for our UK foundry and the wider manufacturing industry.

Read on to discover how the budget will impact UK manufacturing and how we at Dean Group maintain an efficient metal casting service for our clients.

2024 Spring Budget in Review

Jeremy Hunt commented on the 2024 spring review that summarises the hopefully beneficial effect it should have on our nation's various industries. He said, "We are sticking with our plan by backing the industries of the future with millions of pounds of investment to make the UK a world leader in manufacturing, securing the highly skilled jobs of the future and delivering the long-term change our country needs to deliver a brighter future for Britain."

Pros and Cons

The spring budget has generated many strong opinions both for and against it and the near future it sets out for UK manufacturing. For example, the industry was disappointed in the lack of tax announcements directly related to manufacturing. However, the increased support and commitments related to life sciences and advanced new manufacturing techniques were positively received.

Increased AI Introduction

One of the most controversial areas for manufacturing was the £7.4 million committed to supporting an upskilling fund pilot that will assist manufacturers who wish to introduce AI skills into the workplace. This is an area we are monitoring closely after our investment in our 3D printing for casting service and the complex computer simulation processes we perform for our clients.

AI is a controversial addition to any workplace, but in manufacturing, it is supporting the existing systems in Industry 4.0 by improving automated production services. Many simple and repeatable processes are now monitored by computers, which provides managers the opportunity to upskill their staff into more complex roles and use their talents more efficiently.

What Does the 2024 Spring Budget Provide for Manufacturing?

There are three main areas that are generally welcomed across the industry for a better future for manufacturing: increased HMRC clarity, apprenticeship funding and strategic sector support.

R&D Expert Advisory Panel Improving HMRC's Relationship with Manufacturing

The first of note is the plan to create a research and development expert advisory panel. The goal of this panel is to create HMRC guidance related to future R&D activities. This is in response to the industry's disappointment with the lack of clarification and uncertainty received from HMRC over the last twelve months in relation to new R&D activities. Businesses are looking forward to the improved responses from HMRC so they will be able to develop an effective R&D program appropriately for their future and make the best investment decisions.

£50M Funding to Increase Apprenticeships

The skills gap has been a challenge for UK manufacturing for many years. Whilst many actions have mitigated the issue, none have completely resolved the reduced staff numbers. As a result, the high-quality work that our nation is internationally known for is losing productivity. Fortunately, this year's budget is looking to change that.

This year's spring budget is £50m, and it is committed to a new Apprenticeship Growth Sector Pilot Program that will create 13 high-value apprenticeship standards nationwide to support specifically advanced manufacturing processes. The exact actions are yet to be revealed, but the general goal is to strengthen the relationship between education and manufacturing and highlight the opportunities created with new, advanced manufacturing techniques.

£4.5BN for Strategic Manufacturing Sectors

Rather than a comprehensive funding increase, the spring budget will be targeting specific areas with this impressive £4.5 billion investment. These are some of the areas where these funds will be dispersed:

  • £2 billion for automotive manufacturing.
  • £975 million for aerospace, with an additional £200 million for R&D low carbon aircraft research.
  • £390 million for low-carbon manufacturing and supply chain research in relation to businesses and the continued development of carbon capture infrastructure.
  • £360 million for life sciences with a potential addition of £520 later in the year.
  • £427 million for UK farming and agricultural investments.
  • £120 million Clean energy through GIGA (Green Industries Growth Accelerator). This is related to various forms of renewable energy and how their components are constructed, such as wind turbine castings made with minimal waste.

These industrial sectors will have access to this funding until 2030, coincidentally, when we reach the next checkpoint in the UK's Net Zero strategy, which highlights a potential connection between the plans.

High-Quality Metal Casting at Dean Group

At Dean Group, we have spent the last 50 years building a highly resilient business that has continued to grow despite the economic challenges of recent years and now, with the impending support for our industry discussed in the spring budget, we are expecting an even brighter future for our team and our clients.

Our investment casting and die-casting processes are the most advanced in the industry, using cutting-edge technology and innovative methods to produce the best possible results. We are dedicated to staying ahead of the curve, embracing new R&D technologies and techniques that allow us to improve the efficiency and quality of our casting services.

Contact us today to discuss your next project needs, and let us explain how our rapid casting prototyping service will benefit your project's efficiency.

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