UK manufacturing is in recovery according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. The statistics reveal that production output increased by 3.2% between October 2012 and October 2013 which is represented as a rise of 2.7% in manufacturing, 13.4% in mining, and nearly 9% in water supply and related utilities.

Speaking in the Financial Times [1], Rob Carnell, an economist at ING, commented, "For those worried that the UK's recovery is an unsustainable property-price and debt-fuelled boom, today's data present a more upbeat assessment."

However, separate statistics provided by the Office for National Statistics revealed that although in recovery, UK manufacturing is not being supported by trade overseas. Britain's trade deficit hasn't improved; between August and October the level of exported goods fell 4.1% and the level of imported goods fell 0.3%.

The areas which saw the biggest growth was the manufacture of transport equipment and other machinery and equipment manufacturing. This news has been welcomed by Mike Brettell, Managing Director of the UK based die casting company, Dynacast UK Ltd. He said, "It's good to hear that manufacturing is back on the rise in the UK, although we've noted this ourselves in our continued growth over the past few years with an enormous surge, especially in the automotive sector during 2013."

In recent years there has been a rise in demand for products which are manufactured in the UK, something which could be boosting UK manufacturing production. Products which are manufactured in Britain are seen as high quality and can often have less of an impact on the environment than products which are shipped into the UK from across the globe.

Quality niche products create greater export potential

Companies are embracing the 'Made in Britain' label and smaller, localised brands allow for further UK manufacturing credentials such as the Made in Sheffield mark. CMD Ltd, Sheffield based manufacturers of ergonomic solutions, welcomed the Made in Sheffield mark as a way to highlight not only the fact that nearly of their products are made in the UK but that they are proud of this.

Steve Cole, Managing Director of Made in Sheffield members CMD Ltd explained, "Britain used to be world renowned for producing high quality products from companies with integrity, and unfortunately, this reputation took a knock from the 1970s onwards but it feels as though things are looking up now. At CMD Ltd, we've manufactured most of our products in the UK since the company started in 1984. I think it's fair to say that recently there has been an increased interest from new customers in where our products are made. Customers are usually surprised, but also welcome the fact, that many of our products are manufactured in the UK."

Lathe in Action by Andrew Magill from Boulder USA

Lathe in Action by Andrew Magill

CMD also export their products overseas to eight countries including Australia, UAE and India, flipping the trend that British manufacturing isn't being supported overseas.

Another British manufacturing company which is bucking this trend is High Wycombe based bi-fold door manufacturer Origin. The demand for the company's products has been so high from overseas that they now have sales offices in Dubai and Florida and will be opening a manufacturing plant in Florida early next year and also in Dubai in the near future.

Neil Ginger, Origin CEO, commented, "The interest in bi-folding doors in the Middle East and North America has been huge. We're delighted that we will soon be able to manufacture our products in these countries but British manufacturing will always be at the heart of Origin's business and our UK factory will remain the hub of all of our operations."

Commenting on the increased export potential for UK products, Neil said, "I believe that the increase in exports from the UK will come from a demand for high quality, niche products. If a company has a reputation for providing the best products and the best customer service then this will naturally create a demand for the product internationally."


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