Manufacturing around the UK

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In his blog earlier this week, George laid out ten reasons why the next government – whatever its colour – should support UK manufacturing. In this list he included the point that manufacturing supports growth across UK regions, with 82% of manufacturing output produced outside of London and the Southeast. This blog looks into manufacturing around the country in a little more detail.


The chart below shows just how diverse manufacturing around the UK is. In Wales and the East Midlands it accounts for more than 15% of GVA.


There is also a strong degree of regional variation. For example, the West Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber all have a similar share of manufacturing as a percentage of GVA, but a very different sectoral make up. In the West Midlands transport, unsurprisingly, comes in as the biggest sector, whereas pharmaceuticals leads the way in the North West.


Manufacturing also has an important role to play in employment around the UK, in particular it accounts for over 13% of jobs in Yorkshire and Humber, the West Midlands and the East Midlands. The East Midlands leads the way, with 14.5% of regional employment accounted for by manufacturing.

At the other end of the spectrum, manufacturing accounts for only 8.7% of jobs in the South East. However, this is more a reflection of the large number of jobs in other sectors as well. In fact, the South East is the region with the highest number of manufacturing jobs in the country!


Just goes to show, manufacturing has an important role to play in every part of the UK, which is why we’ll be calling on the next government to back manufacturing by delivering a competitive and predictable business environment for businesses to invest, innovate, recruit and train.


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