An active industrial policy has a key role in creating global competitive advantage for Britain, as well as fostering domestic economic resilience and social and regional coherence. We regard ‘left behind’ regions of low productivity as the best place to raise Britain’s overall productivity.
- We will encourage the creation of industrial clusters in Special Economic Zones (SPZs) for relatively depressed areas. These areas will have freedom to deviate from national fiscal and planning policies, but only if those policies win and maintain local democratic approval.
- To take advantage of regional growth potential we will overhaul the Treasury’s Green Book policies on public sector investment to focus infrastructure development in the Midlands and the North. Nonetheless, all recipients of public investment funds must demonstrate the benefits expected from the proposed expenditure.
- Public funds will be made available to establish local Development Banks dedicated to developing sector-expertise to conduct pre-investment feasibility tests, assess commercial risk, and help local industrial clusters.
- The tax system will be mobilized to encourage re-industrialization, with tax breaks considered for engineers and product process experts, and for companies who can demonstrate long-term investment in developing the skills of their workforce.