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This major Make UK report, published in association with Santander, sets out a new industrial vision for our economy. We set out what a new digital, greener and more sustainable economy looks like, with a re-purposed industrial strategy to catapult manufacturing to centre stage in the UK.

The first detailed analysis of the Covid-19 impact on UK manufacturers reveals it will take until 2022 for manufacturing to recover to pre Covid-19 levels, potentially costing £35.7 billion in Gross Added Value this year alone.

It also highlights how quickly manufacturers responded at a time of national crisis – from filtration specialists who’ve turned their hand to creating personal protection equipment (PPE) face masks, to signage firms diversifying their products to create social distancing signage for customers across Europe. 

The report makes clear the impact of Covid-19 on some of the world’s most established manufacturing nations, including the US and Germany, surmising that industrial production fell by 11.2% (monthly) and 11.6% (annually) respectively. It reiterates the importance of manufacturers diversifying their customer base to help achieve growth, maintain demand and avoid over reliance any one specific market or customer.

A strong industrial sector is the foundation to build back better. The report makes four recommendations to Government: 


History has shown us that a strong industrial base provides the foundations needed to create a prosperous society. However, the UK has unfortunately become culturally tone deaf to the idea that manufacturing matters and can provide solutions to the challenges that we face, something the sector has aptly shown during this crisis.
A new digital, greener and more sustainable economy will emerge from this with an opportunity to catapult manufacturing, science and engineering once again to centre stage in the UK.
Stephen Phipson CBE Chief Executive, Make UK
Our manufacturers have shown unyielding resilience over recent months. Retaining our position as the ninth leading manufacturer makes it clear that the UK is still a major player on the international stage, but we must not rest on our laurels. This data underlines the importance of prioritising manufacturing as the UK establishes new trading relationships with partners around the world.
Paul Brooks Head of Manufacturing, Santander

Available resources

Coronavirus / Industry report / Manufacturing