in Defence

UK defence industry spending tops £25bn for first time

Posted 8 February 2024

Defence spending with UK industry by the Ministry of Defence has topped £25 billion for the first time, official statistics have revealed.

Image by Willy Barton / copyright Shutterstock

The 2022/23 statistics, published today, detail the money spent by the MoD with UK defence companies. The breadth of spending highlights the government’s commitment to continually improving the defence sector, while supporting the economy and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country.

Yorkshire and The Humber saw a doubling in overall expenditure, the highest of all areas, while Wales saw a 25% rise in the same figure.

An average of £370 is being spent with the UK defence industry for each person living in the UK, showing the level of spending that helps keep the nation protected.

The latest jobs figures – published in the summer - also show 209,000 UK jobs are supported through the MoD’s expenditure with Britain's defence industry.

Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said: "As threats increase across the globe, it’s crucial that investment in our Armed Forces matches that picture.

"That’s why we’re spending more than £50 billion annually on helping equip our military with cutting-edge capabilities, so they can continue to protect our freedoms around the clock.

"These statistics demonstrate how all parts of the UK are playing their part in that crucial work, delivering through our fantastic defence industry and boosting local prosperity."

The UK has experienced its third consecutive year of increased spending, with the Southeast of England receiving the highest MoD Expenditure with UK Industry, followed by the Southwest.

Wales and Northern Ireland saw an increased level of expenditure compared to last year’s statistics, highlighting the key role the Nations play, with Scotland leading the investment with more than £2 billion spent annually.

Defence spending with UK industry by the Ministry of Defence in Scotland is currently £2.09 billion. An average of £380 is being spent on defence for each person living in Scotland, higher that the UK average of £370, with this figure staying consistent in recent years and showing the level of spending that helps keep the nation protected.

The latest figures also show 12,200 Scottish jobs are directly supported through the MoD’s expenditure with the Scottish defence industry.     

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: "Nothing is more important than defending our country and these figures show the enormous contribution Scottish skills, expertise and innovation make to the UK’s defence industry.

"As well as playing a crucial role in the security of the UK, defence also contributes significantly to delivering high-skilled jobs and investment in Scotland. The UK Government is committed to growing our economy, including by working with the defence industry to support its success in the UK and in exporting overseas."

Scotland is home to the Royal Navy’s Type 26 and Type 31 frigate building programme, spanning shipyards on the Clyde and Rosyth, supporting thousands of skilled jobs into the next decade.

Some of the MoD’s highest level strategic assets, such as the Continuous At Sea Deterrent at HMNB Clyde and the P-8 Poseidon and Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth are also base in Scotland, investing in multimillion-pound support contracts which have created thousands of jobs.








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