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Manufacturers say UK is getting more competitive

9 January 2024
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More than half of Britain’s manufacturers are now viewing the UK as a more competitive place to locate their activities, compared to just 31 per cent one year ago. While less than one-fifth believe the UK is not a competitive place in which to manufacture.

These findings come from Make UK and PwC’s Executive Survey 2024, published today, which polled more than two hundred senior manufacturing executives. It shows that after a very difficult few years through the pandemic and the shock to energy prices, there are optimistic signs with companies more bullish about the prospects for manufacturing in 2024. 

Just over 44 per cent believe that conditions in the sector will improve, with only one in five believing the contrary. While an increasing number also believe the UK is becoming more competitive than its European rivals.

As a result, manufacturers – who are now seeing opportunities outweigh the risks to their firms - are backing this belief with investment in new products, expansion into new markets and acceleration of the use of new digital technologies to improve their business. The adoption of the latter in particular is seen by almost three quarters of firms as a way to boost operational efficiency, while more than half see generative AI increasing their workforces’ productivity.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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