19 August 2020: The Railway Industry Association, the UK trade body for the rail supply community, has joined Reshoring UK, a collaboration of industrial engineering associations focused on connecting manufacturers with trusted, accredited UK suppliers capable of delivering products and services that match their requirements.
The new partnership will support RIA members who are looking to fill the gaps in their supply chains or to support the creation of new ones, by connecting them with other companies in the UK.
Neil Walker, Exports Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said:
“The UK rail industry is already well recognised across the world for its innovation, expertise and ability to deliver effectively, supporting both our domestic rail network and other nations’ railways too. Yet, the results of an independent ComRes survey of rail business leaders at the end of 2019 found that more than half, 56%, felt that too little consideration was given for whether rail suppliers have a presence and support jobs in the UK. It is therefore vital that we continue to build up our domestic industry, whilst attracting foreign direct investment into the rail market, from overseas.
“That is why the Railway Industry Association is excited to be joining Reshoring UK, an organisation that brings rail suppliers with a UK presence together to create supply chains and develop an even stronger UK rail offer. We look forward to working with Reshoring UK and RIA members to deliver a growing, sustainable rail sector which provides growth, investment and export income for the benefit of UK plc.”
Baroness Burt of Solihull, Patron of Reshoring UK, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the Railway Industry Association as a Partner in the Reshoring UK initiative. RIA will be an important contributor in the development of the network, to encourage engagement with our manufacturers to recognise the strength of the skills and innovation available to the manufacturing supply chain in the UK.”
Adding further impetus to the Reshoring UK initiative
The number of leading industrial engineering associations currently behind the Reshoring UK initiative has recently been expanded with the addition of British Plastics Federation (BPF) and Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) and Invest Northern Ireland. Now, the members of the 26 sector and technology specific business groups are adding further momentum to Reshoring UK, a collaborative development that assists manufacturers connect with trusted, accredited suppliers capable of delivering UK-based products and services.
Graeme Craig BPF takes up the story
“However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the need for secure, well-supported supply chains into sharp focus, not just the supply of essential medical products for front line medical services, but for every part of the economy. Now that the country is looking at recovery and a return to ‘business as usual’ is on the agenda, there is a perfect opportunity to create a balanced, robust economy that will be sustainable for UK manufacturing and the value chains it supports.”
Success for Reshoring UK means success for skills, innovation, and investment in British jobs he continues:
“In June 2020, Business Secretary, Alok Sharma MP, announced the creation of five new business-focused groups to unleash Britain’s growth potential and create jobs, as part of the Government’s plans to help the economy bounce back from this global pandemic. The five groups are: The future of industry; Green recovery; Backing new businesses; Increasing opportunity, and UK open for business. For all five of these groups any industrial strategy developed must consider reshoring manufacturing to the UK if they wish to meet their objectives. There has never been a better time for Reshoring UK.”
“With so much value to be gained for both sides, large manufacturers only need to look more closely at what is already available to them in this country, in terms of innovation, technology transfer across sectors, and quality. The www.reshoring.uk partnership urges the manufacturing sector to seize this opportunity to reconsider its supply base.”