Innovative UK businesses are set to benefit from a £1.4bn investment fund to be announced in next week’s Budget.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will set out plans which would funnel money into key sectors and a new talent network to woo foreign talent into UK industries.
The Global Britain Investment Fund will hand out grants to encourage internationally mobile companies to invest in the UK’s critical industries, including life sciences and automotive.
The Treasury said companies with “strategically important investment proposals” would be able to get grants towards their schemes through the fund.
The fund includes £354m to support investment in life sciences manufacturing, increasing resilience for future pandemics, and more than £800m investment in the production and supply chain of electric vehicles including in the North East and Midlands.
Sunak is also expected to announce the extension of the recovery loan scheme for a further six months until June 30 2022, and £312m for the British Business Bank’s start-up loans programme to provide 33,000 loans to entrepreneurs across the UK looking to start or grow their business.
A new talent network will also be set up in innovation hotspots, first in the Bay Area of San Francisco and Boston in the US in 2022, and also Bengaluru in India.
By 2023 the programme will expand to six countries and will target universities, research institutions and innovation hubs to attract the best foreign talent to the UK’s science and tech sectors.
The Chancellor said: “We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start, grow and invest in a business, as we continue to support enterprise, create jobs, and level up as we recover from the pandemic and look to the future.
“As we forge the UK’s future as a global scientific and technology superpower, we will ensure the UK continues to be the destination of choice for international talent.”
A team will offer support to workers moving to the UK by providing tailored advice and linking them to UK-based opportunities.
The Chancellor is also expected to confirm the Government’s intention to make it easier for companies to relocate to the UK through a new redomiciliation regime similar to those available in Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and a number of US states, strengthening the UK’s position as a global business hub and an open, competitive, free-market economy.
It is hoped this will allow companies to take advantage of the UK’s world-class infrastructure and skills, while promoting jobs, innovation and investment in the UK.
Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said to recover from coronavirus, businesses need to get investing, and therefore welcomed the scheme.
She said: “This scheme hits the spot when it comes to some of our most innovative industries in the UK.
“Businesses will be hopeful that there will be more to come from the Chancellor next week to help get firms investing.
“The UK has always been an attractive location for top talent. With labour shortages biting in sectors from the lower-skilled to the high, this new network could prove a useful tool in some of our most exciting, higher-skilled industries alongside much-needed funds to spur global investment into the UK.”
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