George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced that the ceramics and steel industries – including the famous Stoke-on-Trent pottery – will be exempt from the so-called “climate change levy” on energy costs.
Tristram Hunt, the Labour MP for the town, who has campaigned for more help for such traditional industries, said the decision will save companies millions of pounds and stop firms relocating abroad where energy is cheaper.
Brick and paving industries in the Midlands will benefit in particular, as well as plants moulding and recycling steel.
The British Ceramic Confederation said it would help with the industry’s international competitiveness.
The exemption, which will be introduced in 1 April 2014, will also apply to the mineral and metallurgical industries.
The climate change levy was introduced in April 2001.
Any money raised under the levy is given back through schemes to subsidise energy-saving investments and through reductions in national insurance.