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Government offers £16m to support auto supply chain

Prompted by Honda’s plans to cease production in Swindon, Business Secretary Greg Clark has launched a new £16 million programme to support automotive suppliers.

The new National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels (NMCL) programme will offer support to SME businesses across the country who sell to the automotive sector, starting with those in the Honda supply chain. 

In February, Honda announced its proposal to close its Swindon manufacturing plant in 2021. The facility currently produces 150,000 cars per year and employed around 3,500 people. 

The new support programme, delivered by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), will be backed with £16 million to give suppliers advice on how best to evolve their products and processes to meet customersfuture needs, from the shop floor to the boardroom. This could include training for specialist staff, advice on the latest technologies available or help on accessing business loans to invest for the future.  

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: 

In support of the Honda and UK-wide automotive supply chain Ive launched a new £16 million programme designed to specifically support SME businesses in the automotive supply chain."

We design and manufacture world-beating components and technology solutions and this new program will ensure our supply chain sector remains at the top of their game, both here in the UK and internationally, by keeping up with the latest technological developments, backed by dedicated support and advice to make the most of our supply chain expertise and specialisms. 

As reported earlier this week, manufacturing of motor vehicles accounted for 39 per cent of manufacturing growth between 2012 and 2016 Office for National Statistics, but this has dropped more than any other industry over the past two years.  

To declare an expression of interest in participating in the NMCL Automotive programme, visit 

Banner image from Honda.

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