Government 'roadshow' will decide future of UK sector

The first of the UK Government’s manufacturing roadshows is held to gauge manufacturers' views on the sector

The first of the UK Government’s manufacturing roadshows was held this week in Derby to discuss the future of British industry with business people.

Ministers say they are keen to seek the views of businesses on the future of UK manufacturing as part of the process of refreshing the government’s strategy for the sector. Further events will be held this month in Bristol and Gateshead.

Business Minister Shriti Vadera said of this week’s event: “I am here in Derby to hear how manufacturers think government and business can work together to help this sector remain innovative and competitive in the evolving global marketplace.”

She added: “It amazes me that, instead of recognising manufacturing as one of the most successful sectors in Britain, it is seen by many as an industry in decline … The facts speak for themselves: we are the world's sixth largest manufacturer and our productivity has grown by almost 50 per cent since 1997.”

The government announced in November 2007 that it was reviewing its manufacturing strategy aimed at ensuring it is doing all it can to assist UK manufacturing compete globally and take advantage of exciting new markets.

Bryan Jackson, chairman of East Midlands Development Agency, said: “The Manufacturing Strategy Review event [in Derby] is vitally important, because it will enable government to hear directly from manufacturers in the region about the real issues that are affecting them and to develop a strategy that will help them to win the battle of global competitiveness.”

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