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Gloucestershire Business News

Government help needs to be stronger reveals manufacturing report

More than half of manufacturing businesses say government support measures are inadequate and have called for further funding.

The annual Manufacturing Outlook from tax and audit firm Crowe, produced with the Confederation of British Metalforming and sponsored by Hornby, said 55 per cent of those surveyed said urgent further help was needed.

Crowe's head of manufacturing Johnathan Dudley said: "These latest results paint a clear picture and message from the industry - existing support levels are not enough.

"If supply chains are to be safeguarded, which is essential for removing uncertainty in the short-term, and for providing support for growth in the longer-term, manufacturing businesses which have been the backbone of the British economy for so long, must not be left behind.

"The nature of manufacturing supply chains heightens the urgency of government action. You are only as strong as your weakest link and it only takes one company to slip for the whole supply chain to come crashing down."

He continued: "In terms of exporting assistance, in an economic environment where most commentators and government agencies see the future prosperity of the UK manufacturing sector as being export led, government assistance to increase exporting and to encourage businesses even to make a start is key.

"We urge the government to provide more support the manufacturing industry."

The survey found 70 per cent of respondents predicted Brexit will affect their business at least moderately while there were some positive views on the year ahead.

Stephen Morley, president of the Confederation of British Metalforming, said: "There was still some indication of positivity for the future of the sector, which we hope will become reality as the year progresses, with 83 per cent of companies expecting turnover to grow.

"We have to be realistic and say they are working from a very low starting point, mainly down to the effects of the pandemic."

Additional results saw 31 per cent of respondents reporting either an attempted or successful cybercrime attack in the last 12 months and 12 per cent of respondents confirming that they had experienced incidents of suspected fraud in the last year.

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