Manufacturing has been the Cinderella of the UK economy for decades. Neglected, underinvested, denigrated and shamefully ignored by governments of all persuasions. Yet it survives in spite of them.
What has changed significantly is that the shining stars – services and finance – have lost their twinkle. The balance of power is changing. In this new environment, where the pound has fallen to a level that makes British goods very competitive, UK manufacturers need to push for greater recognition and support.
If you look at the latest statistics www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/trd1009.pdf there are clear trends. The economy is rebalancing, all be it slowly.
Many UK companies out there produce world class products and are making inroads into overseas markets. Look at Street Crane, a 60 year old engineering company with innovative products that are winning a loyal following throughout the world. Rowe Hankins a specialist in rail engineering that is also successfully trading globally.
There are also smaller, technology, based businesses that are winning business overseas. Fueltek, a fuel management company, is attracting buyers from as far away as Australia and Angola. Detectronic, who produce survey instruments for the water industry, are attracting business from as far away as Kuwait.
Britain has thousands companies like these with world-class products. Let’s hope that the next government has the wisdom to recognise the value of manufacturing with tangible support.
The communication problem for manufacturers is that many in government, politics and the civil service have little industrial understanding. As technical PR specialists we are committed to helping companies like these fight their corner and get the credit they deserve.