Government scheme to encourage manufacturing back to UK

unionflagUK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is to join forces with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to launch Reshore UK, a new one-stop-shop service to help companies bring production back to the UK.

Reshore UK will provide a matching and location service, access to advice and support and a named individual to help each manufacturer. MAS’s role is to help support small and medium sized businesses to be globally competitive and to ensure there is capacity in the UK supply chain to take advantage of the reshoring opportunities. UKTI will use its global networks to attract foreign companies to invest.

The new service Reshore UK will be accessible for both UK and international firms.

A statement from the Department for Business today said that UK companies were increasingly looking to reshore manufacturing work to the UK instead of outsourcing overseas. This, it said, was “due to the combination of a strong and stable economy, competitive corporate tax rates, a good regulatory environment, strong legal frameworks and a dynamic labour market”.

UKTI has identified 1,500 manufacturing jobs reshored in the UK since 2011 and a MAS survey shows companies citing costs, quality and reducing lead times as the top three reasons for moving production back to the UK.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “For years UKTI has played a vital role helping our businesses to export and encouraging inward investment. Now, as part of our long-term economic plan, I also want us to help businesses bring back production to Britain. This new service will offer dedicated support for businesses that want to capitalise on the opportunities of reshoring, creating new jobs and ensuring that hard-working people can reap the benefits of globalisation.”

Commenting, EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said: “This was a positive speech by the Prime Minister and an endorsement of the industrial strengths we have in the UK. Manufacturers are winning business on the basis of meeting customer requirement on quality, service and speed to market. To make this happen some companies are rethinking the shape of their business and supply chains and bringing activity closer to home. First and foremost, the UK must provide a competitive cost base, skills in sufficient numbers and, certainty about the returns over the lifetime of those investments if we are to secure the benefits of this trend.

“The Prime Minister set out some of what the government is doing to achieve this but there is still work to be done. Not least in our engagement with Europe. His focus on a pro-business, pro-growth agenda in Europe is welcome, the UK needs to ensure it keeps that agenda on track to make greater levels of re-shoring back to Europe and the UK a reality.”

Copyright Ken Hurst 2014

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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