Industry Minister celebrates ‘fantastic’ manufacturing sector as UK aims to overtake Italy as 7th biggest manufacturer

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As the UK marks National Manufacturing Day yesterday, Industry Minister Nusrat Ghani has hailed the UK’s ‘fantastic’ manufacturing sector as it aims to overtake Italy and become the world’s 7th biggest manufacturer.

Manufacturing trade association Make UK recently published data showing that the UK has overtaken France to become the world’s 8th largest manufacturing nation, with Italy next in 7th.

Make UK’s data shows that the UK’s manufacturing output was worth $272 billion in 2021, with Italy’s at $314 billion.

The UK’s manufacturing sector is fast-growing, and this news comes as UK Export Finance (UKEF) today announced a £26 million export credit guarantee for Teesside-based stainless steel alloy manufacturer Paralloy, for funding from Santander UK to support the continued growth of its export business.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said: “The manufacturing sector plays a vital role in the UK economy, contributing £224 billion in gross value added in 2022, directly supporting 2.6 million jobs and helping to drive innovation and exports.

“We’re determined to provide our fantastic manufacturers with the cutting edge over our competitors, which is why we’ve developed our Critical Minerals Refresh and upcoming Critical Imports and Supply Chains strategy to help drive growth and ensure we can continue to land investment wins.

“I was delighted to see our world-class manufacturing sector rise further up the global rankings earlier this month, and now we want to build on this success and grow our manufacturing capability even further going forward.”

Manufacturing is one of the key growth areas which the Government has committed to supporting to help create sustainable, well-paid jobs across the UK.

Government support for the manufacturing sector has focused on strengthening the UK’s competitive advantage via programmes such as the Automotive Transformation Fund, the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Faraday Battery Challenge and the Aerospace Technology Institute.

These initiatives have helped the UK to deliver landmark manufacturing investments this year including Tata’s £4 billion investment in a gigafactory in Somerset, £600 million from BMW in all-electric Mini production at its Oxfordshire plant, and Stellantis’s £100 million investment in electric van production at Ellesmere Port.