Manchester, UK - The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has welcomed a plan by UK chancellor George Osborne to create a ‘northern powerhouse’ by developing a joined-up approach to government investment in cities across the north of England.
In a speech to the 2014 Chemical Industry Awards, Steve Elliot the CIA’s chief executive said: “For too long, unnecessary competing against each other has delivered one of the greatest unfulfilled potentials of our generation as city and region fought against city and region.
Elliot went on to say that the north of England was “blessed with outstanding universities” that are leading the way in terms of cooperation between academia and industry.
Improving links with academia is seen as key to the future competitiveness of UK chemicals manufacturers, who are mostly based in the north east and north west of England.
“Science here in the north, should be turned into the growth here in the north. That is a message we in the Chemical Industries Association have been leading for a long time including this week in Parliament at our All Party Parliamentary Group”.
The CIA intends to hold the UK government to account on its announcement to ensure the plan is quickly turned into action.
“If we do this then the Country will have the best chance it has ever had to rebuild our supply chains and sustain manufacturing’s recent recovery and growth through more UK chemistry,” concluded Elliot.
The government scheme is another boost to UK’s £60 billion chemical sector which is on track to achieve business growth of 5 percent this year. This follows a strong start to 2014, helped by rising demand from key customer industries such as automotive, aerospace and construction.
The industry contributes over £70 million a day to the UK economy and spends over £5 billion each year on R&D. The sector he added, invests almost £2 billion a year in capital expenditure and employs over half a million people.