Opinion Former Article

Resilient chemical sector to be at the heart of UK growth

The UK’s £60 billion chemical sector is fundamental to the growth of manufacturing and other activities across a range of sectors. 

In a speech to be made tonight in Manchester, the Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association Steve Elliott, is expected to tell a 500 strong audience that while the industry continues to:

• Contribute over £70 million everyday to the UK economy
• Spend over £5 billion each year on research and development
• Invest almost £2 billion a year in capital expenditure.
• Provide employment for over half a million people in well paid jobs

The activity those numbers generate will be reinforced by the growth in demand from key customer industries such as automotive, aerospace and construction – all of which are helping to boost the country’s manufacturing performance. 

Confirming a strong start to the year and the potential for 5% growth for UK chemicals in 2014, Mr Elliott will also endorse Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement earlier this week to create a ‘northern powerhouse’.

In a wide-ranging speech to the 2014 Chemical Industry Awards he will say: “I was delighted to hear the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to create a northern ‘powerhouse’ by linking the great economic cities of the north. For too long, unnecessary competing against each other has delivered one of the greatest unfulfilled potentials of our generation as city and region fought against city and region.  And I agree with him that the north is blessed with outstanding universities that are leading the way in terms of cooperation between academia and industry. Science here in the north, should be turned into the growth here in the north. That is a message we in the Chemical Industries Association have been leading for a long time including this week in Parliament at our All Party Parliamentary Group”.

He will end by saying “I now want to hold the Government to account on this by getting them to move quickly  and see their words turn into action. If we do this then the Country will have the best chance it has ever had to rebuild our supply chains and sustain manufacturing’s recent  recovery and growth through more UK chemistry ”.

Notes to Editors:

For further comment, please contact Lena Nunkoo 07951 388 919 or Simon Marsh 07951 389197

Companies shortlisted for the Chemical Industry awards can be viewed here http://www.ciaawards.co.uk/

Chemical Industries Association (CIA) is the organisation that represents chemical and pharmaceutical businesses throughout the UK www.cia.org.uk

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