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15.05.20

New industry deal to manufacture 70 million face masks agreed

As the UK government continues its efforts to minimise shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line NHS and social care staff, a new industry partnership has been agreed by Government to manufacture more than 70 million face masks in the UK.

The deal with Honeywell to manufacture and deliver the face masks forms part of a wider government plan to harness the potential of UK industry to scale up domestic PPE manufacturing capacity during the current coronavirus outbreak.

The newly agreed production line can produce up to 4.5 million masks a month and will create an additional 450 new jobs at the production site in Newhouse, Scotland.

Over an 18-month period more than 70 million FFP2 and FFP3 face masks will be produced at the Scotland site, with production set to begin as early as July. Masks produced during the partnership will then be distributed by Government to front line NHS and social care workers.

The agreement with Honeywell represents a significant forward movement in the government’s ‘make’ programme, headed by Lord Paul Deighton, which has sought to unleash the potential of the UK manufacturing industry to shift PPE production domestically rather than relying on imports.

READ MORE: Business partnerships create millions more items of PPE for frontline staff

READ MORE: NHS Providers: PPE guidance must restore confidence of clinicians

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “These 70 million masks are the result of our challenge to UK industry to scale up domestic PPE manufacturing.

“This deal is brilliant news for the whole United Kingdom which will not only deliver the masks we need but create around 450 jobs in Newhouse, Scotland.

“I’m delighted to team up with Honeywell to open up another avenue to get millions of masks to the frontline and strengthen our ongoing response to the outbreak.

Lord Deighton, Adviser to the Secretary of State on PPE, added: “As countries around the world face unprecedented demand for PPE, British industry is stepping forward to make sure vital pieces of equipment reach our workers on the frontline.

“My role is to increase our homegrown PPE supplies, both now and in the future, by investing in the potential of UK manufacturing. This fantastic deal announced with Honeywell today marks a significant step along the way.”

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