North-East Manufacturers In Investment Drive

Manufacturers Across The North-East Are Planning To Expand In The Coming Year, According To MAS

11.03.2014

Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

New figures published by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) have found many north-east English businesses are planning to invest heavily in equipment.

While recent GDP figures have indicated strong growth across the UK, some experts had predicted continuing uncertainty across the eurozone would harm the nation's chances of a sustained recovery.

But even sectors that historically suffered after deep economic contractions are doing well, with a number of benchmarks showing improvement in recent months, reports the Journal.

A new survey published by the MAS found that 84 per cent of respondents in the north-east are planning to invest their capital into new equipment - a clear sign of widespread optimism.

Indeed, the fact that the average company will spend £134,000 on buying products will be of significant importance to business leaders in the area, which has previously struggled to keep up with competition from the south-west of England and its maritime economy.

Lorraine Holmes, area director for MAS, said: "There is a definite feel-good factor around north-east manufacturing at the moment and these latest figures reinforce positive reports from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders together with encouraging purchasing managers' index data.

"Investment is crucial if we are going to take advantage of reshoring and predicted growth in markets such as offshore wind, renewables and low carbon vehicles."

Business and energy minister Michael Fallon was more optimistic, claiming the MAS figures showed a "renaissance" in manufacturing across the north of England.

Mr Fallon added that the Regional Growth Fund had improved awareness of subsidies and lending schemes available to small business across the UK, which in turn had improved economic performance across the board.

But despite progress in recent months the numbers of people employed in the manufacturing industries are far lower than in the 1970s and 80s when cities like Sheffield and Bradford had a large quantity of factories creating products for global markets.

Expert Opinion
These figures are another sign of the growing positivity in the manufacturing sector and this can only bode well for small businesses which have expansion plans for the coming months.

"Investment is of course central to growth and it is vital that businesses ensure they are in the best possible position before looking to develop their offerings and strive towards new ambitions. A key factor which assists in helping the right business decisions at key points is having access to the right kind of support.

"This would include legal assistance on finance and investment matters, as well as on transactions and contractual relationships."
Steven Beahan, Partner