MTC calls for reshoring as manufacturers bounce back

Clive Hickman, CEO of MTC and chair of IPRC

The West Midlands is leading the post-pandemic manufacturing boom according to the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).

MTC says HMRC trade statistics show that manufacturing exports from the West Midlands rose 65% in Q2 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier – the biggest increase of all the UK regions.

It was followed by the North West and East of England, which saw gains of 62% and 58% respectively. The national average was 32%.

Exported manufactured goods, machinery and transport from the West Midlands were worth £5.4bn, an increase from £3.2bn in the previous year.

Clive Hickman, CEO of MTC, said: “COVID-19 has illustrated the UK’s reliance on global supply chains. To protect our economy from shocks in the future, the Government must do everything in its power to enable the reshoring of manufacturing.

“One vital step would be to bring Government development spending in line with research spending to boost economic growth and deliver manufacturing jobs.

“As the home of the industrial revolution, the West Midlands has the foundations to become a global manufacturing hub once again.”

MTC say the West Midlands manufacturing sector is yet to bounce back fully from the pandemic, operating at 82% of pre-pandemic exports.

Mark Hilton, operations director at Albert Jagger, a vehicle hardware manufacturer, said: “We’re proud to see the West Midlands leading the national manufacturing recovery. As a Walsall-based business, we’re pleased to have been able to contribute to that success by exporting to over 70 countries.

“The global supply chain crisis has been a challenge for many companies, but Albert Jagger has protected itself by shifting the production of many products back to the UK from China. As a result, 2021 has been the most successful year in our company’s history.”