Automotive aid gets European approval

Posted on 2 Mar 2009 by The Manufacturer

The much anticipated £2.3 billion support package for UK automotive firms has been given the green light by the European Commission (EC), the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has announced.

The government can now offer the £1 billion of loans and loan guarantees from its own coffers and the £1.3 billion of loan guarantees through the European Investment Bank (EIB) that was announced in the Automotive Assistance Programme in January.

“We are grateful to the Commission for its swift response and approval of our state aid application,” said business minister Ian Pearson. “We welcome applications for the Automotive Assistance Programme that’s now up and running just one month after announcing our support package for the automotive industry.

“We are committed to helping the car industry bridge to the low carbon future. Our package will support both manufacturers and larger automotive suppliers in delivering the new investment that will be vital in ensuring the industry comes out of the current downturn with the skills and technology needed to be competitive in the global automotive market.”

BERR said it will be holding a seminar in the next couple of weeks to bring together industry, banks and the relevant trade bodies to ensure the application process for the scheme runs as smoothly and effectively as possible. Details of this will be reported here when available.