The Wright Review Highlights Recommendations For Advanced Manufacturing

Independent Report Says Sector’s Sustainable Recovery Is Not Guaranteed


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

An influential report into advanced manufacturing and its supply chain in the UK has concluded that the sector has reached a crucial point in its evolution and that future growth shouldn’t be taken for granted.

The review by Jaguar Land Rover director, Mike Wright, was commissioned by the Labour Party and aims to highlight ways to make the UK a globally competitive investment environment.

Published at the end of June 2014, Mike Wright opens by saying that: "It would be easy to conclude, given the current success of many UK based advanced manufacturing companies, that the sector’s contribution to a sustainable recovery here is secure. It is not.

"Much progress has been made, but the sector has reached a crucial point in its evolution. What we do now will make the difference between long-term success and marginalisation.

"If we build on our success, and respond with determination to the challenges I lay out in this report – on productivity, costs, innovation, skills, funding and the governance of industrial policy – then the sector will play a major role in growing and rebalancing the UK economy in the long run.

"If we become complacent, and take our current progress for granted, we will miss a once in a generation opportunity to compete and succeed in one of the world's most competitive sectors. We must focus ruthlessly on creating a globally competitive investment environment here in the UK."

In a report containing 10 principles for success, Mr. Wright highlights the importance of the sector and efficient supply chain. He says that: “Advanced manufacturing is a sector of strategic national importance and is vital for a balanced and sustainable economy.”

He then adds: “Small and medium sized business in the advanced manufacturing supply chain are crucial to the overall success of the sector. Proximity and adjacency are important: they help strengthen relationships and communication, allow for shared resources and spillovers, and enable shorter and more efficient logistical chains.

“We are more likely to have successful large firms if we have a thriving UK-based supply chain, and vice versa. We should never set the interests of large and small businesses against each other. Not only are they interdependent – suppliers want anchor clients, who in turn want to be close to their suppliers – they also both benefit from the same investment environment.”

Expert Opinion
Manufacturing and in particular the advanced manufacturing sector is crucial not only to the rebalancing and recovery of the UK economy but also to the future prosperity of a significant amount of working population across the UK and in particular outside London.

"Mike Wright having acknowledged how far we have come identifies the significant challenges that remain.

"Whilst the issues of the need for cross-party consensus regarding industrial policy, innovation, skills and funding and investment are all familiar to all levels of the supply chain they really do matter."
Dorrien Peters, Partner