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3 minute read - 8th December 2023

Manufacturers urge Government to appoint Minister for Manufacturing

Members of Made in Group, which includes Made in the Midlands and Made in Yorkshire, say that Britain can further advance its position as the eighth largest industrial nation globally but the sector needs more effective support from the Government to do so.

Set up to champion and promote UK industry, Made in Group is a peer-to-peer membership association with more than 500 members representing all sectors of manufacturing and engineering. Approximately 85% of members are owner-managed small and medium-sized businesses.

Members from the UK’s fastest-growing manufacturing membership group have called on Ministers to prioritise British industry by appointing a Minister for Manufacturing / Picture: Getty/iStock

Representatives from more than 80 businesses attended a recent ‘Backing Britain’ parliamentary reception and called on ministers to debate and act on the following areas:

Strengthening and safeguarding Britain’s manufacturing capacity
Appointing a Minister for Manufacturing
Addressing concerns related to the ownership of British businesses

An open letter detailing the actions needed to help boost Britain’s manufacturing capacity was delivered to the pigeonhole of every MP. The event was attended by MPs and Lords including Lord Whitby, Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party, Lee Anderson MP, John Redwood MP for Wokingham, and Gary Sambrook MP for Birmingham, Northfield.

In his address, Lord Whitby, Chairman of Made in Group, challenged the prevailing notion that the UK economy is predominantly service-driven and emphasised the importance of recognising the true contribution of the manufacturing sector.

More than 80 members of Made in Group attended a recent ‘Backing Britain’ parliamentary reception / Picture: Made in Group

While many account for industry’s direct GDP and employment contribution, he noted that the full extent of manufacturing’s influence on the UK economy is often overlooked. Citing a study by Oxford University, Lord Whitby revealed that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the UK economy extends far beyond the commonly cited 10% of GDP. The research shows that the sector underpins an additional 13% through indirect and induced economic impacts, resulting in a total contribution of 23% to the UK GDP.

Jason Pitt, CEO of Made in Group, said: “It was fantastic to see so many of our members come together in the heart of government to deliver a crucial message at the end of another challenging year. Thank you to everyone who joined us and we look forward to the lasting impact of the conversations and connections formed here. The year has concluded with a trio of promising announcements from Government in support of UK manufacturing, including a £4.5 billion commitment, an ambitious Advanced Manufacturing Plan and a new Battery Strategy.

“We celebrate these positive steps. Yet, challenges persist, especially for small and medium-sized businesses like many of our members are. Appointing a Minister for Manufacturing would elevate the concerns of our industry to the highest levels of government. Made in Group eagerly anticipates working with such a Minister and their team to ensure that the voices and needs of British manufacturers are not just heard but actively shape policy decisions.”

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