News Round-Up

Mar 4: £360m for UK manufacturing; Calls for teachers pay rise; Amstrad returns

Here are the headlines on Monday, March 4

Time 6:56 am, March 4, 2024

Jeremy Hunt to unveil funding to make UK ‘a world leader’ in manufacturing

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is to announce funding ahead of the Budget aimed at helping to make the UK ‘a world leader in manufacturing’.

The package, said to be worth £360m, is for research and development (R&D) and manufacturing projects across the life sciences, automotive and aerospace sectors.

It includes £92m joint government and industry investment to expand facilities to make life-saving medicines and diagnostics products. There is also a £200m joint investment in zero-carbon aircraft technology to develop a more sustainable aviation sector, and almost £73m in automotive technology.

School leaders call for ‘double digit’ pay rise for all teachers

School leaders are calling for a ‘double digit’ pay rise days after the government said school salaries should ‘return to a more reasonable level’.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) union said England currently has the highest number of unfilled teaching posts in over a decade, and one in seven schools in England reported at least one vacancy.

At least a 10% increase in all teaching salaries is needed to counter the ‘recruitment and retention crisis’ and the uplift must be higher than average pay settlements in other industries across the country, it said in its evidence submitted to the independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) which makes pay recommendations in England.

Tories ‘have done a U-turn’ on vow to ring-fence vehicle tax for road projects

A Conservative commitment to ring-fence vehicle tax revenue to fund road projects has been dropped.

The Treasury told the PA news agency that revenue from vehicle excise duty (VED) goes into the Consolidated Fund – a general pot of tax receipts – despite promising to launch a new National Roads Fund (NRF) in 2020. It insisted VED ‘is being reinvested’ into road schemes.

The RAC said the government ‘seems to have done a U-turn and are quietly hoping it goes unnoticed’.

Chris Packham cleared to challenge government’s net zero rollback in court

Chris Packham has been granted permission for a judicial review of the government’s decision to reverse some of its green policies.

The naturalist and TV presenter sent a challenge to prime minister Rishi Sunak in October after the government watered down policies aimed at helping to cut UK climate-warming emissions to zero overall by 2050, known as net zero.

Sunak announced the rollback in September, which included delaying the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 to 2035, reducing the phase-out of gas boilers from 100% to 80% by 2035, and scrapping the requirement for energy efficiency upgrades for homes.

UK ‘not fast enough’ on energy transition, says Siemens Energy boss

The UK is not moving fast enough on the energy transition, the boss of the British arm of Siemens Energy has said.

Darren Davidson, who runs a company employing 6,000 people in the UK, said that the country is not on track to meet its targets on offshore wind.

‘Siemens Energy employs 6,000 people in the UK, across transmission, power generation, wind, hydrogen-enabled gas turbines, so we’re across all the energy landscape,’ Davidson said. ‘I think what we need to do is be at the front end, leading and helping our customers and the government to come up with plans as to what we can to achieve because, if I’m brutally honest, we’re not fast enough.’

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Malaysia may renew search for flight MH370 one decade on

Malaysia’s government has said it may renew the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 after a US technology firm proposed a fresh search in the southern Indian Ocean where the plane is believed to have crashed a decade ago.

Transport minister Anthony Loke said Texas-based Ocean Infinity has proposed another ‘no find, no fee’ basis to scour the seabeds, expanding from the site where it first searched in 2018. He said he has invited the company to meet him to evaluate new scientific evidence it has to find the plane’s final resting place.

If the evidence is credible, he said, he will seek cabinet’s approval to sign a contract with Ocean Infinity to resume the search.

Lord Alan Sugar revives Amstrad brand with new marketing agency led by grandson

Lord Alan Sugar is set to revive his famous brand Amstrad with the launch of a new digital marketing company led by his grandson, 17 years after selling the business to Sky.

The business mogul, who fronts BBC One reality series The Apprentice, bought back the rights to the household brand name for new agency Amstrad Digital.

Lord Sugar criticised the ‘belligerent’ old management at Sky, prior to it being taken over by US media giant Comcast in 2018, for not allowing him to buy back the name. ‘I had always asked, since 2007, to have it back because I want to give it down to the family to use in their business,’ he told the PA news agency.


A cold start with fog clearing, reports BBC Weather. It’ll be a mostly clear and bright day, though cloud and spells of rain from the south-west will blow in. Temperatures will be between seven and 12 degrees.

That band of rain will push northeastwards tonight across most of the UK, leaving clear skies in the southwest.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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