The fundamental impact of UK manufacturing

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Dave Atkinson, UK Head of Manufacturing SME & Mid Corporates at Lloyds Bank, considers new data that reveals manufacturers’ fundamental role in the UK economy.

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A new report, The True Impact of Manufacturing, uncovers the full extent of manufacturers’ contribution to the nation’s economy.

Published by the Manufacturing Technologies Association and produced by Oxford Economics, the report reveals how the sector’s impact is far bigger than is often appreciated.

Conventional analysis states that manufacturers generated an estimated £184 billion during 2022, while employing 2.6 million; around 8% of the country’s economic output and 7% of jobs.

But further investigation shows the sector’s economic footprint is much larger.

Manufacturers support a network of suppliers, impacting all sectors of the economy and adding another £164 billion and 2.6 million jobs to the manufacturing ecosystem.

And there is a third component in induced impact; the amount employees of manufacturers and their suppliers add to the economy when they spend their wages, which are 11% higher than the UK median.

Combining these direct, indirect and induced effects, we get the sector’s true impact; £518 billion a year and 7.3 million jobs.

That’s almost a quarter of the UK economy (23%) and over a fifth (22%) of all jobs.

Evolution and innovation

But manufacturing is also a driver of future prosperity, accounting for 47% of all business R&D spend, in areas that represent some fundamental challenges, including health, defence and climate change.

And firms need practical and financial support to assist their evolution.

This must include policymakers, trade organisations, business, academia, lenders and more.

At Lloyds Bank, we’re bringing organisations together to help provide the resources that manufacturers need to transform.

Central to this is our support of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, which we have backed with £15m sponsorship through to 2030.

Strategic support

This partnership has two main aims.

To help fund the MTC’s state-of-the-art training centre, creating a new generation of engineers and technicians.

And to support firms transforming their operations; the MTC’s experts can help address a number of challenges, from adopting the right technologies to new process development.

We’ve also worked closely with the Manufacturing Technologies Association for 14 years, including sponsoring its flagship MACH Exhibition.

Lloyds Bank wants to lead by example, and it’s heartening to see others doing the same, from government to academia.

As this kind of collaboration becomes the norm, the true impact of UK manufacturing can become even bigger and better.