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£1.4 billion Global Britain Investment Fund to launch a network of talent hubs

Rishi Sunak chairs a session on 'Talent' at Treasury Connect
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The Global Talent Network will work with UK businesses and research institutions to identify skills needs 

  • Chancellor will launch a network of talent hubs across the world to bring best and brightest science and tech talent to the UK.
  • Budget and Spending Review expected to unveil a new £1.4 billion Global Britain Investment Fund to support investment into UK economy.
  • Reforms to make it easier for foreign companies to relocate to the UK to boost economy.

A £1.4 billion package to spur a wave of investment in the UK’s most innovative sectors and a new talent network to attract the best foreign talent to the UK is expected to be announced by the Chancellor next week – driving growth and creating jobs.

At Wednesday’s Budget and Spending review, Rishi Sunak will set out details of a new £1.4 billion Global Britain Investment Fund that will provide grants to encourage internationally mobile companies to invest in the UK’s critical and most innovative industries, including life sciences and automotive.

Companies with strategically important investment proposals will receive grants towards their schemes, following a stringent due diligence process to ensure value for the taxpayer.

The new fund includes £354 million to support investment in life sciences manufacturing, increasing resilience for future pandemics, and over £800 million investment in the production and supply chain of electric vehicles including in the North East and Midlands.

The boost for post-Brexit Britain will also see a new talent network set up in innovation hotspots across the world to attract the best foreign talent to the UK’s science and tech sectors and cement our place as a scientific super power.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

“We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start, grow and invest in a business, as we continue to support enterprise, create jobs, and level up as we recover from the pandemic and look to the future.

“As we forge the UK’s future as a global scientific and technology superpower, we will ensure the UK continues to be the destination of choice for international talent.” 

The Global Talent Network will work with UK businesses and research institutions to identify skills needs before sourcing science and tech talent from universities, innovation hubs and research institutions to bring to the UK. A team will offer support to these individuals in moving to the UK, by providing tailored advice and linking them to UK-based opportunities.

First launching in the Bay Area in San Francisco and Boston in the US in 2022, alongside Bengaluru in India, the programme will expand to a total of six countries worldwide by 2023. 

The Chancellor is also expected to confirm the Government’s intention to make it easier for companies to relocate to the UK through a new re-domiciliation regime, bringing increased investment and skilled jobs into the UK as demand increases for professional services such as audit, accounting, and legal services.   

A re-domiciliation regime would bring the UK in line with peers such as Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and a number of US states, strengthening our position as a global business hub and an open, competitive, free market economy.

This will allow companies to take advantage of the UK’s world-class infrastructure and skills, while promoting jobs, innovation and investment in the UK.

To inform the design of this re-domiciliation regime, a consultation will be launched on how best to do this alongside a programme of business engagement.

Further finance for business

In a further boost for UK businesses, the Chancellor is also set to announce the extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme for a further six months until 30 June 2022, and  £312 million for the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme to provide 33,000 loans to entrepreneurs across the UK looking to start or grow their business.

The new £1.4 billion Global Britain Investment Fund includes nearly a billion pounds worth of new funding at this SR and existing funds/commitments across automotive and life sciences. Full details of the fund will be set out in the coming weeks.

It follows the launch of the new Investment Atlas, an online platform designed to help international investors identify and execute high priority investment opportunities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Atlas will highlight 53 strategic investment opportunities across the UK, each with a strong sustainability element aligned with the key themes set out in the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan.

On Tuesday (19 October) Prime Minister announced 18 deals worth £9.7bn have been secured at the Global Investment Summit, supporting growth in vital sectors such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture and storage, cementing the UK’s climate leadership for COP26 and beyond.

Stakeholder reaction 

Russ Shaw CBE, Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates founder, commented: 

“The Chancellor’s announcement demonstrates further support for making the UK a world-leading digital, innovation and technology ecosystem.  A significant challenge for the UK tech sector has been to fill the ever-increasing number of job vacancies, both with home-grown and overseas talent.  

“Creating a network of talent hubs to attract international talent to the UK ensures that we can identify and recruit world-class talent to support the growth agendas of many businesses.  

“Global Tech Advocates, with a network of 22 tech communities around the world, welcomes this initiative and can assist in supporting the Government with the creation of these talent hubs.  Talent recruitment is the biggest priority for many UK high-growth businesses, and it is great to see the Chancellor commit the funding to bring world-leading talent to the UK to further enhance the growth and dynamism of the UK tech sector.”

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Irene Graham, OBE, CEO, ScaleUp Institute said: 

“These measures are vital for our scaleup business community, which is adding more than £1 trillion every year to the UK economy and delivering over 3.2 million jobs.

“Access to skilled talent, building clusters and expanding the depth of growth capital available to scaling firms in the UK across sectors and geographies are proven key drivers to further scaleup growth – and so these initiatives,  which align to recommendations made by the ScaleUp Institute, should foster further scaleup opportunity both at home and abroad. We welcome this progress and will continue to work closely with the Government as implementation takes shape.”

Brent Hoberman, Founders Forum, Founders Factory, firstminute capital Co-Founder and Executive Chairman said:

“It’s great to see this package of measures to accelerate the UK’s tech and scientific leadership.  The global talent hubs should help the U.K. act as a talent magnet for extraordinary individuals to relocate here.”

Rain Newton SmithRain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist said:

“If the recovery is going to bed in for the longer term then we need to get businesses investing, so this scheme hits the spot when it comes to some of our most innovative industries in the UK.

“Businesses will be hopeful that there will be more to come from the Chancellor next week to help get firms investing.

“The UK has always been an attractive location for top talent. With labour shortages biting in sectors from the lower-skilled to the high, this new network could prove a useful tool in some of our most exciting, higher skilled industries alongside much needed funds to spur global investment into the UK.

 On the Recovery Loan Scheme:

“The Government’s support to business through the crisis has been admirable, but the impact of Covid-19 will not diminish overnight so it makes perfect sense to extend this important funding route for businesses.

“The British Business Bank plays an important role for growing firms around the country and further funding for its start-up loans will help aspiring businesses and support levelling up.”

Responding to the creation of a new Global Britain Investment Fund, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the BCC, said: 

“Boosting inward investment into the UK can provide the foundations for our future economic prospects for many years. 

“There are many businesses involved in the development of innovative, green and cutting-edge goods and services that could benefit from this funding. 

“To maximise its effectiveness, we need to need to look at incentivising inward investment across the UK, including addressing the escalating cost of doing business in the UK, increasing access to finance and improving physical and digital connectivity.” 

Commenting on the £312 million for the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme, Suren added: 

“We are pleased that the Chancellor listened to our call to support the British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme. With the number of new companies tending to rise during a recession, as we see more ‘necessity entrepreneurship’, it is vital that they have access to the financing they need to grow and create jobs.  

“Ministers must continue to ensure that the scheme continues to have sufficient funding capacity to meet any future surge in demand.” 

Lisa Jacobs, UK  Managing Director at Funding Circle, said:

“We welcome the extension to the Recovery Loan Scheme, which has provided small businesses with invaluable finance at a crucial time.

 “Many of the UK’s SMEs are optimistic about their future, with a third telling us they intend to expand over the coming year.

 “Finance is the key to unlocking these growth plans, and we look forward to continuing helping businesses access the scheme, create jobs and drive the economic recovery.”

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