Over 50 of the Midlands’ leading manufacturers met in Leicester to discuss the sector’s role in levelling up the UK. Boosting manufacturing has a key role in creating regional growth, reducing geographical inequality, leading to higher productivity and better wages for all.
The Midlands is the leading location for UK manufacturing, with 25,270 businesses and 555,820 existing jobs in the sector, equalling 12.5% of total employment – a much higher percentage than the national average.
Make UK and Inspired Energy release the first roadmap taking companies through their complex decarbonisation journey.
Make UK’s manufacturing members, in partnership with Inspired Energy have published the first roadmap to net zero for the manufacturing sector. The roadmap, which was developed in consultation with some of the major manufacturing sub-sectors, provides a clear direction and major milestones towards the long term 2050 goal.
It aims to encourage companies to take those first successful steps towards reducing their carbon footprint.
This simple blueprint released also outlines how companies will contribute to the establishment of the four low-carbon industrial clusters by 2030, and the decarbonisation of mini-clusters at dispersed sites. The plan reflects the targets set to date by the Government and by other industry sub-sectors, planting the major milestones in the ground to ensure businesses stay on track and pick up the pace required for the complex journey to the decarbonisation of factory production processes and energy consumption.
Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has sold two aluminium parts factories after Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) stepped in to secure a vital part of its supply chain.
Evtec, an automotive supplier based in Coventry, will take over Liberty Aluminium Technologies casting plants in Coventry and Kidderminster in the West Midlands, saving 170 jobs. However, GFG is closing a site in Witham, Essex, with the loss of 64 jobs.
GFG has gone through months of restructuring since the collapse of its key lender, Greensill Capital, in March. The collapse prompted Gupta to rush to find new lenders to finance his businesses, while also looking at asset sales and dealing with potential criminal investigations in the UK and France. It is understood Evtec paid more than £10m for the two sites.
Minister for Exports, Mike Freer, has announced that Teesside steel company Paralloy has secured a £15 million funding package from Santander UK with an 80% guarantee from UKEF to support its export-led growth.
The guarantee is a UKEF General Export Facility (GEF), which is designed to help UK businesses easily access funding to cover the cost of international trade and help level up export opportunities for businesses across the UK.
Paralloy makes patented steel alloy castings used in high temperature furnaces and exports 95% of what it makes in the UK to 70 overseas markets. Its exports have reached record levels of up to £50 million, and the firm required general working capital to fulfil record demand for its services.
As the country builds back better from coronavirus, the funding package has enabled Paralloy to take on higher value export contracts, open two new sites in Teesside, and create 76 new highly skilled jobs locally.
The firm has plans to hire a further 40 additional staff, including engineers, welders and fabricators this year.
Additive manufacturing and machining engineers at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) which is operated by the University of Strathclyde, joined by six other companies, have created a low-cost remanufacturing solution that can extend the life of parts used within manufacturing by 120%, helping UK manufacturers to embrace the circular economy, boost sustainability, and save costs.
The two-year £1.2million DigiTool project was part funded by Innovate UK and focused on the remanufacture of dies, which are commonly used across the hot forging, stamp and press, moulding and oil and gas industries to shape metal during production, but are typically subject to high costs and long manufacturing lead times.
Designed to find a low-cost solution to these industry problems, the new DigiTool framework allows manufacturers to embrace remanufacturing, which is where previously worn or damaged parts, in this case dies, can be returned to “like-new,” condition.