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  • Writer's pictureLuis Makaj

UK’s Manufacturing Renaissance: Pioneering the future with EVs and advanced manufacturing

Over the past few decades, the UK’s manufacturing sector has witnessed a noticeable downturn, with a gradual decline in production and influence on the global stage. In 1970, manufacturing accounted for about 30% of the UK’s GDP, and by 2010, this figure had declined to just 12%. Many government officials and policymakers have recognised the need to ‘rebalance’ the UK economy and are aiming to become more influential in manufacturing on the global stage. Nevertheless, current developments signal to a promising turnaround for the UK’s manufacturing sector. The recent launch of the UK’s Advanced Manufacturing Plan, combined with Nissan’s £2 billion investment in EVs and Tata Motors’ plan for a £4 billion Gigafactory in Somerset are some of the key advancements marking a pivotal moment for UK manufacturing, paving the way for innovation, job creation and economic growth.


In the Advanced Manufacturing Plan formally published on December 1, 2023, the government proposed £4.5 billion of funding to support strategic manufacturing sectors. This included £2 billion of funding towards the automotive industry to produce zero-emission vehicles, batteries, new supply chains and enhancement of existing supply chains. An additional £975 million will go towards aerospace for energy efficient and zero-carbon aircraft technology, £520 million towards resilience in health emergencies and R&D, and a further £960 million towards green industries for clean energy sectors. It is estimated that the battery sector alone will create roughly 100,000 highly paid and skilled jobs, marking a significant step towards enhancing and modernising the UK’s manufacturing sector.


Nissan’s £2 billion investment in the UK marks another influential development for the manufacturing sector, especially in the realm of EVs. By funding the production of new electric models of the Juke and Qashqai (and plans to construct a new battery Gigafactory in the UK), Nissan is helping to reinforce the UK’s position as a key player in the automotive industry and is putting the UK at the forefront of the global race for EV production. This investment builds upon Nissan’s previous commitment of £1 billion with their battery partner AESC in 2021 for their EV hub in Sunderland, which supports 30,000 jobs in the wider UK supply chain. This strategic shift towards sustainable manufacturing highlights the UK’s potential as a centre for cutting-edge automotive technology.


Tata Group’s £4 billion investment in a new UK battery plant also marks a significant milestone for the automotive sector, representing one of the largest investments ever in this industry. This Gigafactory, planning to start production in 2026, will create up to 4,000 direct jobs and will foster many more jobs in the supply chain. The plant will be capable of supplying batteries for at least 500,000 vehicles a year, and by 2030 is estimated to provide almost half of the battery production that the UK will need. 


These investments will significantly boost the UK’s manufacturing capabilities, especially in the realm of EVs, and they will prove to be crucial towards the UK’s objectives of economic growth and net zero emissions. Such substantial investments will allow the UK to become more independent and self-reliant, and simultaneously will contribute towards the influence of the UK’s manufacturing sector on the global stage and will push for a more ‘balanced’ UK economy. 


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