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What does the Government's latest announcement of support for UK Manufacturing mean?

Will the launch of Reshore UK help small businesses support British manufacturing?

Is the Government supporting UK manufacturing?

Is the Government supporting UK manufacturing?

Today we welcomed the news that the UK Government has launched a new initiative named Reshore UK that aims to help companies that want to bring their production back to the UK. According to the press release on the Gov.uk website, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) has joined forces with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) to offer a ‘1-stop-shop’ to those companies wishing to reshore their manufacturing. In particular it mentions textiles, software production and call centre work, as areas that it would be looking to support.

The press release goes on to say that Reshore UK will ‘provide a matching and location service, access to advice and support and a named individual to help each company’. Accroding to the report, £70m has been allocated to recruiting more trade advisors over the next 2 years (that’s a lot of advisors!), but there is no mention yet of any funding being available directly to these reshoring firms that the initiative will support.

So what does this announcement really mean for small businesses? What is the ‘matching service’ that Reshore UK will provide? And what support will be offered to retrain the staff that will be needed to fill these new manufacturing jobs?  That, unfortunately, is unclear at this stage.

A few phonecalls to my contacts at MAS revealed that none of them were actually sure as to how this new matchmaking service would work either. Although one thing that does seem to be clear is that with UKTI involved the focus will be on manufacturing products with a strong export potential, especially as the demand for British-made products by high-growth markets such as China, India and Brazil is mentioned in the press release.

David Cameron is also quoted in the announcement as saying “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.” So it is at least nice to know that he thinks that we all work hard – but how have we reaped the benefits of globalisation over the last couple of decades when all our manufacturing jobs went overseas in the first place? Hmm, nice one David.

So to answer the question that I started this article with of  “what does the launch of Reshore UK mean to small businesses and those wanting to support British manufacturing?” it is very difficult to say at this stage. We will have to watch this space to find out how Reshore UK unfolds.





  1. Rich Fisher on January 28, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    This is positive news for the UK but we must capitalise on it, now! Not surprisingly the average Chinese worker is starting to lust after a more lavish lifestyle that sees them demanding more wages. A point is now visible whereby it is not always in our interests to import foreign made goods as they are naturally becoming more expensive – not to mention all the shipping costs.. On these shores however we must look at why manufacturing took such a nose dive in the 70’s causing us to lose the market. At some fault was our housing market which takes some of the blame and continues to spiral out of control with very little real affordable housing. Affordable – to who? what a stupid term. We can only get the housing market into check if we can reduce basic rent for those just wishing to live. It is simply ridiculous that it is often cheaper to buy rather than rent – houses simply are not worth that much. You would never buy any other product with such extortionate pay back terms. British made goods are bound to be a little more expensive in the short term so we have to get more money into the consumer’s pocket. Sort the housing market first and we might stand a chance.

  2. Adam on February 6, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I agree with Rich, a step in the right direction but we need to follow through on this now.

  3. Veganline.com - british made vegan boots and shoes on February 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    PS I was a bit rude writing “nobody has apologised”.

    Mrs Thatcher’s cabinet colleagues have apologised a bit, on a TV collection of them being interviewed about her policies mixed with her interviews about her colleagues. I think Francis Pym said something like “we should have gone to the public and said: there’s a recession, we can’t afford to risk this policy, and James Prior: “when you loose 25% of your manufacturing, it’s very hard to get it back”. I think about half of them had regrets.

  4. Nico Macdonald on February 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I listened to the Prime Minister’s reasons he thought ‘re-shoring’ would increase, and none of them represented any significant or qualitative change. One important change would be innovation in industry that lead to more complex products that could only be created by a more skilled British workforce–if we still have greater skills.

  5. Tom on February 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Has much unfolded about Reshore UK yet? I’m following this with interest. Our company (Headforwards) is based in Cornwall and provides software development outsourcing services. I’d love to find out more about the ‘matching and location service’.

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