Vince Cable has announced plans for a government-backed "business bank" to increase lending to UK companies and boost British industry
The business secretary outlined his multi-faceted vision to lift the flagging economy over the next twenty years, including a £140m investment in building the skills that businesses need.
The new government-backed “business bank” is designed to lift the block on growth caused by the shortage of finance for firms that want to expand, but its size and workings are yet to be finalised.
In a speech delivered at Imperial College, London, Cable called for the government to be “more like a business” by “making strategic plans and sticking to them.”
He said the plan will lift the “barrier that poor access to finance puts on growth,” helping firms to invest capital, expand and create jobs.
The minister outlined a number of other schemes designed to create growth, including creating strategic partnerships between the government and manufacturing industries by 2013, and a new innovation and knowledge centre to boost commercialisation of research.
John Cridland, CBI director-general, said the “UK is a world leader in many sectors and if we are to secure significant growth in the decades to come, the Government must enable them to capitalise on their competitive advantages and stay ahead of international rivals.”
He added that politicians of all persuasions need to focus providing a stable and supportive policy environment, and that “today’s commitment from the Business Secretary is a valuable first step on this critical path to future success.”
Today’s announcement comes a week after Downing Street laid out plans for an economic kick-start that included a housing stimulus package and growth committee chaired by George Osborne, which includes Cable.