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Following the news that UK car manufacturing could reach an all-time high by 2017, a new initiative aimed at bringing more supply chain manufacturing back to the UK has been launched by the government.
Reshore UK – a joint venture between UK Trade & Investment and the Manufacturing Advisory Service – is billed as a ‘one-stop-shop’ service to help companies bring production back to the UK. It will assist companies in finding production partners and locations, as well as access to advice and support.
Over the last decade, the number of UK-based automotive suppliers has been in gradual decline, with the recession hitting the sector particularly hard. More recently – and helped by various schemes from the Automotive Council – this fall has been halted, but the challenge now lies in growing the UK automotive supply chain.
On average, UK-based vehicle manufacturers currently source more than one third of components from domestic suppliers – but with a strong desire to increase this figure, today’s news will be welcomed across the industry.
Prime minister David Cameron, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier today, said, ‘For years UKTI has played a vital role helping our businesses to export and encouraging inward investment. Now, as part of our long-term economic plan, I also want us to help businesses bring back production to Britain.
‘This new service will offer dedicated support for businesses that want to capitalise on the opportunities of reshoring, creating new jobs and ensuring that hard-working people can reap the benefits of globalisation.’
Business secretary Vince Cable said, ‘British industry is coming home. Over the last few months I have welcomed many companies who have taken manufacturing, textiles, call centre work or software abroad, bringing jobs back to the UK. This is a sign that diverse, high-quality British manufacturing is on the rise once again.
‘It also highlights the ability of British-based business to stand strong in the face of global competition. The partnership between UKTI and MAS will further support British industry so they can continue to succeed. This builds on our long-term partnership with industry in key sectors like aerospace, automotive and oil and gas, which is giving business the confidence to invest in the UK and drive growth.’
Trade and investment minister Lord Livingston said, ‘Exports to high-growth markets like China, India and Brazil are at all-time highs and the UK is the number one destination for foreign investment in Europe. However there is still more to do to.
‘This means more support for medium-sized and small companies looking to export, more determination to attract industry from around the world to our shores and a resolve to make sure that British firms benefit from trade deals that are being negotiated.’