PM unveils £1.7bn pot for city growth

20 Nov 17

Cities will benefit from a £1.7bn pot to improve transport links and local growth, the prime minister revealed today.

The West Midlands will receive a £250m slice of the Transforming Cities fund, which will allow a major expansion of the Midland Metro to go ahead.

UK spending on research and development will also increase to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, Theresa May announced today.

This increased spending could raise research and development spending by up to £80bn over the next decade, the government estimated.

Both moves are part of the government’s industrial strategy, aimed at improving productivity and creating better, higher-paying jobs across the UK.

“Our industrial strategy will propel Britain to global leadership of the industries of the future, seizing the big opportunities of our time – from artificial intelligence and big data to clean energy and self-driving vehicles,” the prime minister wrote inThe Times today.

The government announced it would put £2.3bn extra into spending on research and development in 2021-22, which will raise total public investment in this area to £12.5bn in that year.

Business secretary Greg Clark said: “By delivering this significant increase as part of our industrial strategy, we are building on our strengths and working with business to ensure that UK scientists and researchers continue to push the boundaries of innovation.”

May made the announcements as she travelled to the West Midlands with the chancellor and business secretary today.

The government is due to release its industrial strategy white paper on Monday next week.

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