A PROJECT led by Rocester-based digger giant JCB has been handed a grant for over £35 million which is set to give a massive boost to its suppliers.
The project led by JCB and Stafford-based Perkins Engines was one of 12 successful projects which bid for cash from the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Fund (AMSCI).
The companies led a bid to increase research and development activities in the construction sector.
The project – called the Construction UK Supply Chain Competitiveness and Innovation project – is expected to create over 500 direct jobs and safeguard over 1,200 additional roles in the supply chain.
It will be financed by almost £10 million from AMSCI and approximately £25 million by private partners.
A JCB spokesman said the announcement was good news for the firm.
He said: “While JCB doesn’t gain financially from this very welcome announcement, we will benefit from the investment our suppliers are now able to make in their businesses.
“The grant means a total of 31 JCB suppliers in England have funds to increase and improve their manufacturing capability by investing in their facilities and training their employees.
“This means suppliers can enhance component quality, delivery times and cost competitiveness, which is critical to JCB’s new product introduction programmes and growth goals.”
Overall, £213 million of joint government and industry investment to strengthen UK advanced manufacturing supply chains has been allocated creating over 11,000 new jobs and safeguarding another 5,000.
Over £73 million has been awarded from round two of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) to 12 national supply chain projects, and a further £140 million will be invested by business.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This is a welcome boost to jobs and growth in this area.
“This investment will secure Britain’s future as a world leader in both traditional and new technologies.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said the JCB-led project will support the future of the construction sector.
He said: “As part of our industrial strategy for growth, government is working closely with industry through initiatives like AMSCI to strengthen the UK’s advanced manufacturing base.
“The Construction UK Supply Chain Competitiveness and Innovation is a good example of how AMSCI is helping to support the future of the construction sector while creating valuable new jobs in the area and wider afield.”
Of the £213 million investment committed to national projects in round two, around £73 million has been awarded from the initiative subject to due diligence with a further £140 million being leveraged from private sector partners.
The investments will finance and strengthen manufacturing supply chain projects across a range of sectors including automotive, aerospace, chemicals, construction and offshore wind – key areas of the government’s industrial strategy.
Businesses seeking to apply for Rounds three and four of AMSCI can visit www.innovateuk.org