UK: Affordable energy & clean growth one of 10 Industrial Strategy pillars

UK Prime Minister Theresa May during a speech on the government's 12 priorities for negotiating the UK's exit from the European Union. (Photo: Crown Copyright/Tom Evans)

Affordable energy and clean growth are listed under one of the ten pillars of the Modern Industrial Strategy, set to be launched today by the country’s Prime Minister Theresa May.

“We will keep energy costs down for businesses, build the energy infrastructure we need for new technologies, and secure the economic benefits of our move towards a low-carbon economy,” the government said in the ‘Building our Industrial Strategy: 10 pillars’ published this morning.

Prime Minister Theresa May is launching the strategy at her first regional Cabinet meeting today.

The Strategy green paper – ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ – centres on an offer to businesses to strike new ‘Sector Deals’, driven by the interests of firms and the people they employ, to address sector-specific challenges and opportunities. As part of the deals, the government will be prepared to offer a range of support, including addressing regulatory barriers to innovation and growth, looking at how it can use trade and investment deals to increase exports, or supporting the creation of new institutions to provide leadership, support innovation or boost skills.

The green paper also sets out technologies where Britain has strengths in research and development which could be supported through the government’s new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, including: smart energy technologies; robotics and artificial intelligence and 5G mobile network technology. This fund is part of £4.7 billion of additional R&D funding announced by the Prime Minister in November.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The Modern Industrial Strategy will back Britain for the long term: creating the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and backing them to invest in the long-term future of our country. It will be underpinned by a new approach to government, not just stepping back but stepping up to a new, active role that backs business and ensures more people in all corners of the country share in the benefits of its success.”

Business & Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “This is an important step in building a modern, dynamic industrial strategy that will improve living standards and drive economic growth across the whole country. A modern British Industrial Strategy must – build on the UK’s strengths and extend excellence into the future; close the gap between the the UK’s most productive companies, industries, places and people and the rest; and ensure we are one of the most competitive places in the world to start and grow a business. We are inviting businesses and workers to contribute to this vision to help us create a high-skilled economy where every place can meet its potential.”

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