Small to medium sized (SME) manufacturers in the South West are set to make substantial financial investments in order to meet expected new demand, according to the recent Manufacturing Barometer Survey from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).
The survey revealed that 80 per cent of respondents are planning to invest in capital equipment over the next year, with companies looking to spend over £100,000 on average.
Simon Howes, MAS Area Director for South West England, said: "We are encouraged that a number of recent surveys, including the MAS Barometer, have pointed towards an upward turn in growth and increased investment intentions among the UK and South West manufacturing community. Such investment is crucial if firms are going to take advantage of the opportunities presented in predicted growth markets such as offshore wind and nuclear.
"In order to grow a business and maintain healthy and sustained growth, companies need to develop and implement their business strategy and capital investment plans to increase capacity and maintain or enhance product quality. It is also vital to continue to update successful current products and to develop and introduce new ones to their range."
Richard Storey, The Chartered Institute of Marketing South West Region's ambassador for small businesses, commented: "With increased capacity and greater manufacturing efficiency, competitive advantage will be essential in securing new business.
"There are now more opportunities to compete successfully in the UK and overseas. New markets, and the recognised benefits of reshoring, provide real opportunities for manufacturers of components, assemblies and finished products. Essential to success will be good product quality, delivery and service and persuading customers to buy on lowest lifetime cost of ownership rather than on price."
Mark Aldridge, head of manufacturing at Grant Thornton in the South West, said: "It is crucial that our manufacturers continue to invest if they are to retain their status as global leaders so these figures will be welcomed by everyone, not least the Government, which has placed manufacturing at the centre of the UK's economic recovery."