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Manufacturing in the UK: An overview

Manufacturing in the UK: An overview

16 April 2015 Written by By Chris Finnegan 2014-17 Marketing and Communications Manager

According to EEF’s latest research, the UK is currently the 11th largest manufacturing nation in the world. Manufacturing makes up 11% of UK GVA, 54% of UK exports and directly employs 2.6m people.

This June, Design Council’s Leading Business by Design Summit will take an in-depth look at the state of UK manufacturing and explore how design can contribute to its continued growth and innovation.

Here, we take a closer look at the facts and figures that make up the UK’s manufacturing sector in two key areas:

British Aerospace Industry

Thanks to global giants such as Rolls-Royce, the UK still ranks second in the world for aerospace manufacturing with 17% of the global market share.

9% of all UK business expenditure is invested in research and development in aerospace. Data released this month (April 2015) by aerospace trade organisation ADS Group shows that deliveries for commercial aircraft continue to rise, with year-to-date figures showing a 10% increase compared with this time last year, and a 20% rise compared with January and February 2013.

  • Employment: 100,000+ direct jobs
  • Revenue: £12.4bn
  • Turnover: 75% to export markets

British Automotive Industry

1.28 million new cars were sold during the first half of 2014, a 10% increase on the same period in 2013 and automotive’s best performance in nearly a decade. The sector has an average annual productivity increase of 3.6% – two and a half times greater than the UK economy as a whole.

No doubt, innovation such as driverless cars will soon completely change the landscape of the automotive industry, but top manufacturers, designers – and importantly those holding the purse strings, government – believe the UK is in the right place to become a global leader in this new technology.

  • Employment: 140,000 direct jobs
  • Outputs: 1.58m vehicles (81% exported) and 2.5m engines (62% exported) made in the UK in the last twelve months
  • Turnover: Typically £55bn annual turnover

What can design do?

The Leading Business by Design Summit 2015 will feature expert speakers including representatives from Rolls-Royce, Dyson and world-renowned design and brand experience consultancy PriestmanGoode.

Find out more about the Summit and the latest thinking, trends and research in UK manufacturing. 

You will learn:

•    how and why successful manufacturing businesses are strategically using design

•    a new approach to supply chain innovation

•    the latest insights from leading thinkers and brand new research.

Who will attend:

•    Managing Directors, Chairmen and Vice Presidents in manufacturing and their suppliers across a variety of sectors

•    Heads of R&D / manufacturing / technology / engineering / purchasing / procurement

•    Policymakers in central and local government

•    Designers working in or for manufacturing firms

•    Academics researching business, manufacturing and design

•    Technology transfer officers and knowledge transfer professionals

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