6 December 2018


Industrial strategy one year on: now what?

Further impetus needed to ensure the UK remains a top destination for investment and innovation

Industrial strategy one year on: now what?

This week marks a year since the government launched an ambitious industrial strategy, which pledged to support firms in seizing the “big opportunities of our time” and address regional imbalances in productivity and living standards.

Read the CBI’s response to the government’s industrial strategy white paper

In the 365 days since, there has been some progress made on the five foundations of productivity and four grand challenges set out in the white paper.

Whether it’s the biggest increase in R&D investment in 40 years, the development of local industrial strategies, or the creation of the independent Industrial Strategy Council just last month, the strategy is, slowly, beginning to deliver on its vision.

The strategy has also empowered local communities to develop their own local industrial strategies which are taking shape in places like the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Leicestershire and Heart of the South West. And all areas across England will have strategies agreed by 2020, building upon a place’s strengths, but crucially addressing its weaknesses too.

But with just over 100 days until Brexit, there is a need for renewed pace and fresh impetus from government. This is the message the CBI has been making to policymakers both in public and in private.

Read excerpts of John Allan’s full Teesside Annual Dinner speech

In 2019, a new sense of momentum is needed including the need for government to set out a clear and concise vision to align government and business leaders. For the strategy to be a success, it also requires buy in from those working across UK and local governments as well as cross-party support so that - crucially - it has the longevity to make a meaningful difference.

This will be the CBI’s focus for the coming months in all of our engagements with combined authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and government departments.

Delivering a modern industrial strategy that will make the UK the best place in the world to invest, innovate and improve living standards is possible with sustained momentum.

For more information please contact jim.hubbard@cbi.org.uk