The government has agreed a deal with technology company Honeywell to manufacture 70m face masks for frontline workers.
Under the deal, FFP2 and FFP3 masks will be produced over an 18-month period at Honeywell’s site in Newhouse, Scotland with output set to begin from July.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) 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.”
The initiative, which will produce 4.5m masks each month, is part of the government’s ‘make’ programme, which is being led by Lord Deighton.
The agreement announced is the latest in a number of steps the government is taking to ramp up PPE production and distribution.
Over 1.25bn items of PPE have been delivered to health and social care workers since the crisis began.
New collaborations between the government and organisations, including Amazon, the Royal Mint and Jaguar Land Rover, will see increased production and delivery across all PPE products. A PPE distribution network with the NHS, industry and armed forces, and a 24 hour NHS-run helpline that’s received around 35,000 calls since it was set up, have also been established as part of the government’s national PPE plan.