UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced a £360m ($456.4m) investment package aimed at bolstering the UK’s life sciences and manufacturing sectors.

Around £200m – part of a joint government and industry investment – will go into zero-carbon aircraft technology designed to make the aviation sector more sustainable. In addition, £73m has been earmarked for automotive technology, while the remaining £92m will finance public-private investment to expand manufacturing capacity in the fields of life-saving medicines and diagnostics products.

“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,” said Hunt.

The announcement comes ahead of the Spring Budget, scheduled to take place on Wednesday. The promised funds will go into companies and projects that contribute with “cutting edge technology” to the UK’s key industry sectors. According to Hunt, life sciences manufacturers will also soon be able to access a share of the £520m fund announced for them last year, during the Autumn Statement.

The UK is looking to boost its manufacturing output in the face of growing tensions between the West and China, which are putting an even greater strain on supply chains, long disrupted by Covid-19 and Russia’s war in Ukraine. In November 2023, the UK Government introduced the Advanced Manufacturing Plan to support growth and investment in the manufacturing sector.

As part of the plan, around £4.5bn was announced in targeted support to boost Britain’s manufacturing sector, long plagued by stagnation and decline due to market competition for cheaper labour costs and resources elsewhere.

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Speaking about today’s announcement, Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch noted: “Today’s announcement builds on the success of our Advanced Manufacturing plan announced last year and will ensure we continue to grow the economy, help create jobs and secure the future of great British manufacturing.

“Our plan for the British economy is working – which is why firms like Airbus and BMW are continuing to bet on Britain,” she concluded.