Investors back the UK with £29.5 billion of funding announced at Global Investment Summit

27 November 2023 | Muriel Cozier

‘We have the third highest levels of inward investment in the world at $2.7 trillion…’

The UK government has used the Global Investment Summit, taking place at Hampton Court Palace today, to announce £29.5 billion of inward investment which will lead to the creation of ‘thousands of jobs’ across the UK in sectors including life sciences, renewables and technology.

Among the investment commitments, BioNTech has said that it intends to expand its global R&D activities with a new laboratory in Cambridge, as well as a centre of expertise for AI in London. The company said that this would be implemented through a rolling 10-year investment of approximately £1 billion, creating an additional 400 jobs.

Following the UK government's AI Safety Summit, held at the start of November, Microsoft has pledged £2.5 billion to build critical AI infrastructure. This, the government says, ‘will boost the UK’s AI superpower status,’ which generated more than £10 billion of revenue from AI companies last year.

In the area of renewables, Iberdrola confirmed a £7 billion investment, as part of a total £12 billion programme running from 2024-2028, which will create offshore wind infrastructure. This project will be carried out in partnership with North Star, owned by Partners Group in Switzerland, also committing £500 million.

‘The numbers speak for themselves,’ said Business & Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch. ‘We have the third highest levels of inward investment in the world at $2.7 trillion, we’re number one in Europe for new investment projects, and last year alone we created 107,000 new jobs through inward investment.’

As CEOs began to gather for the Global Investment Summit, the UK government took the opportunity to set out its plan for UK Advanced Manufacturing, backed by £4.5 billion in government funding. The Advanced Manufacturing Plan (AMP) has investment earmarked for sectors including automotive, batteries, aerospace, and life science, and is intended to ensure that the UK is ‘the best place in the world to start and grow a manufacturing business.’

The £4.5 billion in funding, which was set out in the government’s Autumn Statement, will ‘offer certainty to businesses by committing target funding to back the long-term future of the UK’s world-leading manufacturing industry.’ the statement said. The funding includes £50 million to deliver a ‘globally competitive battery supply chain by 2030,’ as well as support for industries ‘undergoing fundamental changes to remain at the forefront of the global transition to net-zero.’

The AMP has been broadly welcomed by the UK’s manufacturing sector. Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK said: ‘The battery strategy is very welcome and much needed. Having a joined up battery plan in place will be critical for the UK economy to benefit fully from new technology opportunities, and we must ensure that manufacturing involves the entire supply chain, right from design to manufacturing and recycling, closely connecting car and battery industries.’

Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry added: ‘Added to our existing strengths and technical expertise in manufacturing innovation, this announcement is a major step forward in delivering on our shared ambitions for long-term growth.’

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