FRP - Against the odds - The future of UK manufacturing

Against the odds: The future of UK manufacturing

Against the odds: The future of UK manufacturing



A hopeful perspective despite operational issues

Given the well-known and understood challenges manufacturers face, it’s deeply reassuring to know that more than nine in 10 (92%) of those we spoke to are confident in their ability to trade through the next 12 months. Those in Scotland, where food and drink is the largest manufacturing subsector, are the most bullish (96%) – perhaps reflecting the resilient global appetite for items like whisky and salmon.

UK manufacturers are also convinced of the robustness of their supply chains, with the vast majority (88%) expecting their suppliers to continue trading through the year ahead too. This reflects what we are hearing anecdotally across FRP, as many of the supply issues firms reported last year have now been resolved to a large extent, with the most pressing concerns now on the demand side of the scale.



Still, two thirds (67%) of the firms we spoke to said demand has grown in the past year, with just 8% saying demand had fallen. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority (87%) say they are confident that demand will increase in the year ahead – painting a positive picture for the future. Notably, manufacturers in the Midlands were the most pessimistic regarding demand. Their relative lack of optimism perhaps reflects widespread uncertainty in the automotive industry – a key driver of regional growth.

While the industry is delivering significant transformation as traditional petrol and diesel vehicle combustion engines are phased out, this has now been pushed back from 2030 to 2035. The sector is campaigning for more state support to aid this transition but it’s reassuring to see that three quarters (75%) of manufacturers in the region are confident that demand will increase over the next 12 months.



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