For many, the news that Heinz tomato ketchup will be made in the UK for the first time in more than 20 years, signals a triumphant turnaround for British manufacturing. With signs that the sector is growing at its fastest rate in almost 30 years, is your business ready to seize the opportunity?
For those who can remember the 1970s, many will recall some notable events during that decade. One which affected everyone was the three-day week when we were restricted to only three days of a continuous supply of electricity due to industrial action by the miners. This had a major impact on every business sector but especially manufacturing industries.
The seventies also saw the start of a significant trend which lasted many years, with the UK gradually losing its manufacturing capability and jobs moving to a developing service sector. As one commentator observed at the time, “now we only make sandwiches.”
But now the tide is turning. UK manufacturing is growing at its fastest rate for over 30 years. The respected Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index reached a high of 65.6 in May, up from 60.9 in April, with April’s figure being the highest since the survey started in 1992. Any figure over 50 represents growth.
The pent-up demand of consumers following lockdown is cited as the reason behind the surge, but other factors may also be part of the reason. We’ve yet to fully comprehend any effects resulting from our departure from the EU. On the one hand, some cite concerns regarding unforeseen tariffs and difficulties in transporting goods but, on the other, we saw a record rise in exports from the UK in April which was set to continue in May. The OECD predicts that Britain’s vaccine-powered economy will outpace all other major rich nations this year. Is your business ready to capture a share of the spoils?
At FOLK2FOLK we have already started providing essential funding for manufacturing businesses to flourish. In the south east of England we’ve enabling a business to purchase some adjoining land to extend their existing premises; in the south west we’ve helped a business enlarge storage and office space to deal with increased sales; in the Midlands we have funded the acquisition of workspace to let out to two small manufacturing companies.
As a proudly British company we want to enable small business across regional Britain to grow, develop and succeed! If you’re a manufacturing business looking for finance to increase the size of your premises, invest in new equipment and machinery, or scale up your operations – talk to us, we’re here to help!