Over 50 of the Midlands leading manufacturers met in Leicester to discuss the sector’s role in levelling up the UK. Boosting manufacturing has a key role in creating regional growth, reducing geographical inequality, leading to higher productivity and better wages for all.
The Midlands is the leading location for UK manufacturers, with 25,270 businesses and 555,820 existing jobs in the sector, equalling 12.5% of total employment – a much higher percentage than the national average.
“Our region was the original global manufacturing pioneer, and we continue to lead the world. Together, we are identifying and acting on a wealth of opportunities for a new generation of Midlands makers and entrepreneurs, through our increasingly clean, advanced and technology-focused manufacturing,” said Sir John Peace, Chairman of the Midlands Engine.
Key themes emerging from the conference included:
- The UK has been allowed to become too regionally unequal, in large part due to the decline of regional manufacturing
- Revolutionising manufacturing will bring growth, productivity and better jobs to regions like the Midlands, and also the whole country beyond London and the South East
The meeting was convened by Midlands Engine, Make UK and East Midlands Chamber, in partnership with leading UK think tank, The Centre for Social Justice, and builds on Midlands Engine research that showcases the vast strengths (Midlands Engine Makes) and potential (Midlands Engine Manufacturing Opportunities) of Midlands manufacturing. It is the first stage in developing new policies, due to be published in spring next year, to encourage government to promote and enhance manufacturing at the heart of the UK’s economic and social regeneration.
“The CSJ is committed to the value and dignity of work for everyone in our society, across the whole country. For too long our economy has been dominated by London and the South East, while inequality between UK regions has been allowed to grow,” said Andy Cook, Chief Executive of The Centre for Social Justice.
“We believe a revolution in manufacturing will bring greater growth and opportunity to the Midlands – and to the whole country. Today we bring together the key voices of Midlands industry as the foundation of a CSJ policy programme seeking to put UK manufacturing at the heart of levelling up,” Andy concluded.