The UK’s manufacturing industry faces a moment of truth as it copes with the dual challenges of Covid-19 and the disruptions caused by Brexit. An outlook report by Make UK and BDO reveals manufacturing output has plunged to its lowest level since the survey began 30 years ago, with export orders comparable to the lows of the 2008 financial crisis and a contraction of more than 10% expected in 2020. A 2021 recovery is now in question.
However, the new Green Industrial Strategy being pursued by the government, regional development initiatives such as the Midlands Engine and existing centres of advanced manufacturing excellence offer grounds for potential optimism – and investment opportunities.
Can clarity be found on what a post-Brexit UK manufacturing paradigm might look like? With various hubs of manufacturing throughout the UK, each with their own unique legacies, what can be gleaned about their future fortunes? Is the UK government doing enough to ensure these futures look promising? What must be done to ensure that the industry is competitive? Is an investment into UK manufacturing a safe bet, undefined, or a risk worth taking? Which segments show most promise?