NE manufacturing 'to drive UK recovery'

A team of North East manufacturing specialists that helped stimulate more than £40m in sector growth has backed the region to supercharge the UK’s economic recovery.

The call – made by the Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) Project - follows a CBI report which claimed UK manufacturers have recorded the sharpest rise in optimism since 1973 as Covid lockdown measures are relaxed.

The SAM Project, a £10.9m ERDF-backed initiative set up to provide expert advice and funding to North East SME manufacturers, supported a number of businesses during the crisis.

Project manager Ken said: "Manufacturing was one of the hardest hit sectors in the early days of the pandemic, with social distancing bringing entire production lines to a halt and export and import restrictions crippling supply chains.

"Yet, in true British manufacturing style, organisations of all shape and size showed incredible tenacity and - through their ever-relentless desire to innovate - helped not only play a key role in creating PPE and supporting the fight against the pandemic, but also in getting the economy back on track.

"During the crisis, the SAM Project helped scores of the region’s manufacturers invest in new machinery, process improvement and inevitably helped create jobs when unemployment was falling at its fastest pace in living history, so it’s fantastic to see optimism rising again and businesses starting to feel more positive about the future."