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Liberal Democrat News 14 September 2012

September 14, 2012 7:59 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Cable sets out industrial strategy

A new government backed business bank was announced on Tuesday by Vince Cable as he set out a long term vision to keep UK industry as a world leader.

The new bank will work through alternative providers to offer co-investment and guarantees, with the focus on both regional and sectoral support. The bank will improve access to finance and help all businesses in expanding their operations, and creating growth.

Access to finance was at centre of the Business Secretary's vision, which looks at where the UK has a competitive advantage now, and where it can build on that in the next 20 years.

Vince is committed to a long term, strategic partnership between government and industry, that will give businesses clarity about where the government will be concentrating its efforts.

Speaking at Imperial College, London, Vince said:

"Government makes decisions every day that affect the British economy, but has for too long done this in a chaotic, ad hoc way. Government needs to be more like business, by making strategic plans and sticking to them.

"Our first part of that plan is lifting the barrier that poor access to finance puts on growth. By helping firms to invest capital, businesses expand, and create jobs.

"But I am also setting out a clear and ambitious vision, a commitment far beyond the usual politicaln timescale, that will continue to bear fruit decades later. It will give our businesses certainty, allow them to make their own plans, and know that the full weight of government is behind them. This is our commitment to growth in action."

The key announcements in Vince's proposals include:

  • A new state backed business bank to help companies invest
  • Government and industry partnerships with strategies for specific sectors by 2013
  • £140m boost for the skills that businesses need
  • A new Innovation and Knowledge centre to boost commercialisation of research