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Why British manufacturing is on the rise

Why British manufacturing is on the rise

24 March 2014

Thanks to the prestige of the Made in Britain stamp and the Far East’s escalating production costs, manufacturing has returned to the UK and it looks as though it’s here to stay. 

As the economy picks up, and manufacturing returns to the top of the nation’s agenda, the Design Council have extended a helping hand to manufacturing businesses throughout the UK by partnering with EEF – the Manufacturer’s Association.

And the timing of the partnership couldn't be better, because the message in Vince Cable’s speech delivered earlier this month at the EEF National Conference ‘Make it Britain 2014’ was clear; if the UK wants to inject strong growth into its economy it needs to increase its exports. Luckily the UK is in a great position to do just this.

It’s been a real success for the business in terms of sales but, more than this, it has enabled us to maintain 250 people in employment.

Edward Naylor, Yorkshire Flowerpots Range

The Made in Britain stamp still has credibility among the rest of the world, denoting premium design and quality.  A fact that Edward Naylor, Chief Executive of Naylor Industries in Barnsley, is happy to vouch for.  The success of his Yorkshire Flowerpots Range is due, not only to the innovative product design, but to the fact that the pots are manufactured in Britain- highlighting the ideals of quality and durability which UK manufacturing stands for.

Edward Naylor says: “It’s been a real success for the business in terms of sales but, more than this, it has enabled us to maintain 250 people in employment.” He continues, “Some of our competitors have seen turnover fall by 30% or 40% but we are growing year on year.”

But what about the price of British based manufacturing? The initial pull of Far East factories was that their production line was so much cheaper and faster than the UK’s. However, this is no longer the case. Tony Caldeira Managing Director of Caldeira UK Ltd, one of the world’s fastest growing textile companies, has brought several of his production lines back to the UK.

Rising labour costs in China means Britain can not only compete on price but is free of the communication and regulation difficulties which has burdened so many businesses manufacturing abroad. But the biggest difference to Caldeira UK has been the increase in sales and enquiries which Tony attributes to the ‘Made in Britain’ stamp now appearing on most of his products.

After all, with its stable economy, competitive corporate tax rates, good regulatory environment and strong legal framework it seems there’s never been a better time to buy British.

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