July 2016

Manufacturing in the UK


Despite much misleading information, did you know that manufacturing currently makes up around 25% of UK GDP? With an estimated 2.6 million people employed directly in UK manufacturing, many UK SMEs are keen to bring their manufacturing back to the UK.

Advantages of manufacturing in the UK

Back 10 to 15 years ago, western manufacturing seemed unstoppable with the attraction of low labour rates and the chance to manufacture at highly competitive rates. However, changes in wage costs, particularly in China with the introduction of a minimum wage and increases in shipping costs driven by the price of oil has changed the dynamics of manufacturing. So what are the benefits for those who choose to manufacture in the UK?

  • Highly skilled workforce

Being UK based allows manufacturers access to a much more targeted pool of potential employees using workers suited to specific roles.

  • Low shipping cost

Not only is the cost of shipping drastically reduced, long shipping times are also avoided allowing distributors or retailers access to products much more quickly allowing fast turnover of orders.

  • Access to factories and suppliers

With an estimated time of 16 hours required to drive from John ‘o Groats to Land’s End, UK manufacturers gain a better understanding of their market place as whole, maintaining close relationships with factories and suppliers alike.

Why purchase from a UK manufacturer?

Changes over the last few years have seen a flow of manufacturers returning to the UK supporting statistics that show 44% of total exports from the UK is made up of manufacturing. Purchasing from UK manufacturers is both advantageous for the supplier and the purchaser.

  • Quality

A good quality product is a standard expectation of ordered products. With the use manufacturers based in the UK, test materials can be easily supplied for inspection and approval. This is not a straightforward process when using an offshore manufacturer.

  • Communication

With barriers such as time zones and language removed, communication with a UK manufacturer is a lot more straightforward. Most are available throughout the working day and easy to visit if required to check quality of products and available facilities.

  • Support UK economy

Not only does purchasing directly from UK support the UK as whole, the knock on effect is the support of skilled workers across the country and the training of future generations.

Effects of Brexit

The recent vote by the UK to leave the EU was suggested to have a detrimental effect on manufacturing in the UK, however a rise in orders since last October is thought to have been assisted by the continued strength of domestic business with some help from the export sector.

Whilst this is an unsure time for UK manufacturers, UK trading relationships are to remain unchanged during the two-year negotiation period with the sector gathering pace in June.


At Hitherbest, we are passionate about providing our customers with high quality products. Our in house process allows for greater quality control, removing logistical disadvantages that may be faced by manufacturing elsewhere and allows us to keep our prices as competitive as possible.

With over 35 years in the sheet metal manufacturing industry and BSI-accreditation to support our ongoing commitment to quality and service, at Hitherbest we are perfectly suited as your outsourced manufacturing partner to assist on new work or change over from an existing manufacturer. Based in the midlands, the location of our factory in Telford is easily accessible and allows our fleet of vehicles to deliver our products personally.

For more information or to obtain a quote, call or email Adam today.

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