§ Alan Johnson
Last month I announced a package of £45 million for the automotive sector to include an automotive academy, two centres of automotive excellence, and support for cross-regional supply chains as a first step to implementing the recommendations of the Automotive Innovation and Growth Team. In 2001 the Department delivered Regional Selective Assistance and Training grant offers totalling £35 million. The Department also spent about £2 million last year on various other projects to promote competitiveness and productivity improvements in the sector. The Department is continuing to support process improvements through the SMMT Industry Forum and research and development through the Foresight Vehicle Programme with commitments to date exceeding £13 million.