Lincolnshire small businesses welcome PM’s industrial strategy

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) believes that the Prime Minister’s Industrial Strategy will prove beneficial for Lincolnshire.

The Prime Minister has announced her industrial strategy for a ‘Global Britain’ in a speech on January 23, just one week after provide some clarity on what Brexit really means for the UK.

The green paper has been dubbed as 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.

Government is set to provide a range of support including addressing regulatory barriers to innovation and growth, looking at how to use trade and investment deals to increase exports, or supporting the creation of new institutions to provide leadership, support innovation or boost skills.

It is expected that the new plan will help to create more high-skilled, high paid jobs and opportunities.

The plan is made up of 10 key points:

  1. Investing in science, research and innovation
  2. Developing skills
  3. Upgrading infrastructure
  4. Supporting businesses to start and grow
  5. Improving procurement
  6. Encouraging trade and inward investment policy
  7. Delivering affordable energy and clean growth
  8. Cultivating world-leading sectors
  9. Driving growth across the whole country
  10. Creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places

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.

Doug Balderson, Regional Chairman for FSB, said: “Members in the Greater Lincolnshire and Peterborough Region are pleased to hear that the upcoming Industrial Strategy will be focused on our region.

“In areas like ours, small firms are often the anchors of our local economies – in cities, towns and villages.

“FSB at UK level has been instrumental as the government has formed its proposals, and we now encourage all small business owners to chip in with their views so that we get the best possible Industrial Strategy that works for us in Greater Lincolnshire and Peterborough.”

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has also found the announcement encouraging for the future of businesses in the county.

Ursula Lidbetter MBE, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “We believe that by developing a clear industrial strategy, Greater Lincolnshire’s businesses will be best positioned to reach new markets, differentiate their business and boost their competitiveness.

“Our obvious strengths in manufacturing, renewables and food processing require the right conditions for growth, and within the strategy we will be looking for ongoing investment, the development of a skilled and productive workforce and a continuing focus on innovation.”

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.”