Liverpool City Region Manufacturers Among ‘the most productive in the UK’

26th September 2019

A new report from Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, and accountancy firm BDO, reveals that the Liverpool City Region manufacturing sector has remained in a healthy position, despite the global downturn and uncertain political environment, with the Northwest sector now valued at £28.5bn.

The pharmaceutical and chemicals sectors are significant contributors to Northwest industry, accounting for almost a third of regional output. Pharmaceuticals in particular is an especially strong performer and has led to the North West being the UK’s most productive industrial region at 114.55 of the national average.

Other transport, especially aerospace, has also been a strong performer for the Northwest on the back of strong order books and a seemingly insatiable demand for air travel. It now accounts for almost 17% of Northwest output.

The Northwest also continues to be a strong export performer, accounting for almost 8.2%% of total UK manufacturing exports. The EU is now the region’s main export destination (51.3%) followed by Asia and North America.

The last 12 months has seen a notable expansion in exports to the Middle East and North Africa which now account for almost 10% of Northwest exports.

Graham Ellis, head of manufacturing at BDO in the Northwest said:

“Whilst the growth of manufacturing in the Northwest gives reason to be optimistic, the survey demonstrates the disproportionate impact a no-deal Brexit could have on the UK regions where the majority of trade is within the EU.

“With over half of exports from the Northwest going to these markets, there is a risk that future growth will slow significantly. Companies are already holding back on investment as a result of the prolonged period of Brexit instability and risk lagging behind their global competitors when it comes to the uptake of industry 4.0 processes and technology.

“It will be difficult for many manufacturers to regain lost ground in these areas particularly as digital transformation picks up pace.”

26th September 2019