Over the past two years, the MMMA has supported the UK Reshoring programme initiated by the GTMA. During this time, many hours have been spent putting together a strategy, website design and a UK manufacturing network.uk reshoring programme

The Covid-19 pandemic is exposing the frailties of many UK supply chains, underlining just how reliant they are on the overseas supply for critical items. There should be more impetus put on re-establishing UK production of these parts to protect SME manufacturing.

Twenty-two leading industrial engineering associations are behind the growing Reshoring UK initiative. It has been developed to assist manufacturers to locate and understand the breadth of skills vested in the SME engineering companies capable of delivering UK-based products and services.

Everyone behind the Reshoring UK programme appreciates the complexities involved when transferring manufacturing from overseas. The website portal has been created to help re-establish the capability required to meet demands. Businesses that have used the service in the current crisis have realised just how much capability and competence is available within the UK.

We know it is a myth that the UK no longer manufactures anything, but it is often repeated and needs to be dispelled. In reality, prior to this pandemic, we were the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world; contributing 10% of the UK Gross Value Added (GVA). The sector plays a vital role as an employer, with a workforce of around 2.7 million, innovation accounting for 70% of all business Research and Development (R&D) spend.

Even before the global threat of Covid-19, there was a paradigm shift from OEM’s looking at the benefits of reshoring, as highlighted by the Lloyds Bank report ‘Business in Britain: Manufacturing’. A sponsor of the Reshoring UK facility, research from Lloyds Bank showed more than a third (37%) of firms asked said they were planning to move manufacturing processes back to the UK that had previously been offshored to territories like Asia and eastern Europe.

The prime motive for this, cited by 71% of those with these plans, was to improve quality – a telling endorsement of the high standards that British manufacturers and workers uphold. Which also has extremely positive implications for UK supply chains.

“With so much value to be gained for both sides, large manufacturers only need to look more closely at what is already available to them in this country – in terms of innovation, technology transfer across sectors, and quality. www.reshoring.uk urges the manufacturing sector to seize this opportunity to increase its UK supply chain.