North West Manufacturing: Makers on the march

NORTH West manufacturers, the engine room of the region’s economy, are resilient, lean, and eyeing opportunities in new markets and sectors.

According to EEF, the industrial organisation, the sector employs around 315,000 people in the region and is worth  £16bn, almost 13% of the UK’s overall manufacturing output.

Despite such strength and being home to world class names such as Bentley Motors and LandRover, the ongoing malaise in the eurozone is banishing any feel-good factor around the sector and impacting firms’ investment decisions.

That’s the view of a cross-section of industrial leaders from around the region attending a roundtable event for’s North West Manufacturing 2012 supplement in association with law firm DLA Piper and Lloyds Bank. Click here to download the 18-page PDF .

Addressing the issue undermining confidence, The Manufacturing Institute’s Nigel Dove said: “People don’t know what’s happening with the eurozone – the one word we hear is uncertainty.

“Many firms that are sitting on cash are still reticent and want to keep it.”

David Ost, regional director at the EEF said he thought things were generally positive in the North West: “Many organisations are fearing for the future of manufacturing but they themselves are doing relatively well,” he added.

Expansion into new overseas markets was seen by many as an imperative tactic for survival and growth.

Heejae Chae, chief executive of Ashton-under-Lyne based technical tapes manufacturer Scapa said: “As a manufacturer, being global is important to diversify your portfolio. If you are UK/Europe centric that’s tough to mitigate.”

Click here to download our 18-page Manufacturing Supplement.