fbpx Sir Stuart Rose wants government to support British manufacturing Skip to content

Fashion bosses put pressure on government to support British manufacturing

Former M&S boss wants to see investment in British factories in order to create new jobs and boost the economy

stuart rose british manufacturing

Sir Stuart Rose

Top fashion executives, including Marks and Spencer former boss Sir Stuart Rose, have met with business secretary Vince Cable to try to secure Government support for Britain’s clothing manufacturing industry.

However their ideas fell on deaf ears, as Cable was quoted in the press as saying ‘They have formed the view that there is scope for bringing back an industry that disappeared in the bonfire of the Eighties. This is already happening but (they) have a more ambitious agenda, looking at the whole chain, finishing and dyeing – all those things we once did on a large scale in places like Lancashire.We are not going to subsidise this. It is down to the industry. But there are things the Government can do in terms of training, apprenticeships and co-investing through regional growth funds. We have ways of helping.’

Cable will also meet with Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green to discuss the issue, who spoke out this month about increasing production in the UK by 20 percent.

What are your thoughts on this? Should the government invest in British manufacturing? Please leave a comment below.



  1. s. wallbank on October 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    If the government dont back our industry we will all be the losers. Perhaps the word subsidise should be changed to invest?

  2. Mike on October 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    That is a very contradictory statement by Vince Cable. Direct Government investment can be very cost effective when done properly. (http://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/new-washing-machine-manufacturing-facility-attacks-the-uks-trade-gap/) For £1 million pounds of investment, at least 200 jobs will be created not to mention the building/expanding the factory and plant. Most importantly, we regenerate the ability to make something we had lost and consumers get the choice to buy British again – they may well end up employing 2000! I’d say that was money very very well spent and could easily translate into clothing or any other form of manufacture. If its politically difficult to call it a subsidy, lets just call it ‘Targeted Investment’ and get on with it.

    • on October 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Well spotted Mike. There seems to be a lot of talk by the government on supporting British manufacturing (not to mention the money thrown at their Make it in Great Britain exhibition earlier in the year), but very little in terms of action and support.

  3. James on December 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    The government should give everything they’ve got to supporting home industries.

  4. Helen on February 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

    It’s the British fashion bosses that lost us the industry in the first place. I worked for an M&S supplier in the days when there we still a few items made in the UK. The suppliers were squeezed and squeezed to lower costs and were eventually forced to make their garments offshore. That same supplier has now gone altogether – it had its own production factories in the North of England, all gone too. Now they want those factories back?? Ironic isn’t it?

    • on February 26, 2013 at 11:07 am

      Hi Helen
      I was probably at M&S at the same time that you were working for a supplier to them. As buyers for the company we were constantly pushed by the management to make bigger and bigger margins and sadly that had a huge impact on the UK suppliers – particularly once M&S opened up the sourcing offices in HK and India and we started to buy everything direct.
      Some would say that it is the way of the world and they are only in business to make as much profit as possible – but I’m glad that I found another way to make ends meet and no longer have to work that way.

  5. William Hall on July 19, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I find the comments by some of Britans fashion retailers a bit rich,many of their predecessors were responsible for the decline in British clothing manufacturing when retailers become solely focused on targets and ever increasing margins,some would say pure greed on their part to satisfy both the City of London and the company`s shareholders.Sadly despite their current bleatings many of these retailers have learnt nothing during the the continuing economic downturn,still focusing on targets,they continue to ignore customer service,which must come become anything else.Far more sales would be achieved if first class customer service was provided in store,little wonder many customers opt to buy online,therefore not having to put up with searching for staff in store and if finding a team member having to suffer their disinterest in doing much to help them.Sadly the contempt shown by store management to providing customer service is growing by the day,they forget who is funding their salaries,

  6. Paul Johnson on December 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    How does one find about about uk companys starting manufacturing again , and already manufacturing goods

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Weekly Newsletter

Blog Categories

Search the Site