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Radio 4 discusses UK manufacturing on special editon of You & Yours

Photo: Private White V.C.

Photo: Private White V.C.

It is great that the media is really getting behind the Made in Britain movement at the moment – the latest example being Radio 4 covering the topic of UK manufacturing in a specially edition of You & Yours today. The programme was entitled ‘Made in Britain – Does it still make sense to manufacture in the UK?’  and it featured lots of lively debate from companies that make in Britain, including James Eden from Manchester-made clothing brand Private White V.C., as well firms that make offshore giving their reasons why they don’t make their here.

I even made an appearance on the show discussing brands that ‘Fake it British’ and why there is a need for an official Made in Britain logo.

One of the main topics being discussed was how much Great Britain is lagging behind in exports – particularly to the fast growing economies of the BRIC countries. It was shocking to hear that in January 2013 our trade deficit in goods was £8.2 billion, meaning that we imported a damn sight more than we shipped abroad. This is despite the fact that Lord Green, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, stated that ‘Brand Britain’ is highly regarded around the world. It appears that other G7 countries, such as the USA and Germany, have been far quicker off the mark than we have to take advantage of the growing wealthy middle classes in the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Instead Britain has been trading on its own doorstep, and economic issues in Europe have effected our export sales.

The cost of sourcing from China was also debated – pay rises of 30-40% over the last few years  have meant that China is quickly losing its competitive edge in salaries – and the conclusion was that we should now look at the huge opportunity that we have to sell products into China instead. All makes perfect sense.

If you are interested in UK manufacturing, which of course you must be if you have found this website, then the show is well worth a listen while it is still on iPlayer. You can find it here, and I would love to hear your thoughts about any of the topics discussed on the programme.




  1. Steve Longden on April 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Very interesting listen.

    Makes me even more motivated to get my British brand off the ground.

  2. denise evans on April 4, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Marvellous programme – couldn’t agree more with topics discussed – I have a small business now, having had a medium sized Interior Design practise for 28 years where we manufactured everything in Great Britain. I have spent the last 12 months sourcing maufacturers’ to convert my linen fabrics into products. I am almost there and about the launch my new website http://www.naturallinencompany.com – but it has been a hard slog – sourcing, finding and doing of, but so worth it, to be able to say my fabric is woven in the U.K. and my products and made in the U.K. and my printing and labels will all be made in the U.K. Keep up the good work regards Denise Evans

    • Lorna Perks on April 7, 2013 at 8:41 am

      Hi Denise

      I would love to have a chat with you about where you get your fabric from. As of tomorrow I have employed three people to make my Smatta mat and I am looking for a good fabric manufacturer. We have our sewing machines at the ready and enough stock to keep us going for about a month but I need a good supplier. I will have a look at your website and try and contact you from there. Best regards Lorna

      • denise evans on May 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        Hi Lorna

        you can buy from me any of my linens you see on line, I buy in bulk and keep in stock, so if any of them suit let me know. Look forward to hearing from you and what is a Smatta mat?? very intriguing – good luck kind regards Denise Evans

  3. Lorna Perks on April 7, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I have just listened to this programme and I feel very passionate about manufacturing in the UK. I have just taken on three people from the Job Centre in Bristol who are all starting tomorrow manufacturing and selling one of my products called Smatta. We are all very excited and really eager to learn from each other. We are going to start advertising our services so that we can bring in more business and get even more people back into work.

  4. Lesley Webb on April 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    It’s good to see ‘Made in Britain’ getting media coverage and there were some great topics touched on in this programme. At David Nieper we actively support UK manufacturing and retaining traditional skills, and it’s so encouraging to see more and more companies on the same mission. Great work, Make it British!

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