Manufacturing News, July 2021


New Manufacturing Advisory Panel to support the manufacturing sector in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has set up a new Manufacturing Advisory Panel to support and accelerate the growth, productivity, and competitiveness of the manufacturing economy in the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

The D2N2 LEP estimates the manufacturing sector employs over 125,000 people and generates £7.2bn into the region’s economy – ranking third outside London and the South-East – and has the largest cluster of transport manufacturing and R&D in the country.

The LEP will be working with local manufacturing business leaders, the region’s universities, local authorities, and business organisations including Make UK to champion and strengthen manufacturing across region and improve our regional economic performance retaining our excellence in sectors including aerospace, automotive, food and drink, medical and rail.

Primary objectives of the panel include developing an action plan for competitive and sustainable manufacturing, and co-ordinating, facilitating and forging closer links between academia and industry with a focus on supporting businesses to adopt new digital innovation and disruptive technologies and embrace  low carbon growth.

Manufacturing remains “vital” to the success of the West Midlands with the sector accounting for 15% of the region’s economy, significantly above the national average of 10%, a report from Make UK says.

According to the report from Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, and accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, like all UK regions the West Midlands was hit hard by Covid, especially the immediate impact on the automotive sector and its supply chain.  However, since the second half last year, and especially the start of this year as car production has grown at pace, the region has seen significant growth.

Over the last year, the West Midlands has been the UK’s best performing area in terms of output.

The three biggest sub-sectors account for almost two thirds of regional manufacturing output with transport equipment, largely automotive, accounting for more than a third (35.2%) of all regional manufacturing output. This is followed by metal products at 14.9%, and then the machinery equipment subsector at 11%.

The West Midlands remains an important export performer and accounts for 8% of total UK manufacturing exports. Exports to the EU are at 46% of the regional total. This has increased slightly in the last year; however they are still below the national average of 48%. This is followed by North America at almost a quarter (24%) of West Midlands’ exports and Asia & Oceania which accounts for 17%.

The report from Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, and accountancy and business advisory firm BDO shows that manufacturing “remains central to the success” of the East Midlands, with the sector accounting for 16% of the region’s economy – above the national average of 10%.

According to the report, which analyses the overall status of industry in the region over the last 12 months, the East Midlands has been hit hard like other UK regions by Covid. However, the sector has seen a strong recovery emerge since the start of the year, with output and order levels the highest of any UK region.

Bodycote has returned to profit, revealed by interim results to June 30th.

The Macclesfield-based provider of heat treatment and specialist thermal processing services turned a £3.8m pre-tax loss last year into a pre-tax profit of £40.5m this year.

Revenues rose from £306.7m to £312.9m and the business said it had £78m net cash from operating activities.