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Crowe’s annual Manufacturing Survey will gauge the health of the sector

The first of two surveys to establish the true health of UK manufacturing has been launched by national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe.

Crowe has teamed up with the Confederation of British Metalforming to gauge the opinions of those who work in the industry on key issues such as funding, growth, technology and which business relationships they value.

It asks business-critical questions on how and where manufacturers are sourcing funding.

The survey also seeks to establish the level of awareness of the existing Research & Development tax reliefs and whether businesses have made a claim in the preceding 12 months. A second survey in early 2023 will address barriers and the future of the sector.

Johnathan Dudley, Crowe’s Head of Manufacturing and Midlands Managing Partner, said: “It is becoming increasingly clear that manufacturing faces a perfect storm of issues in the coming 12 months.

“While some will be in survival mode, others are still seeking to grow and we want to know what is proving their main barrier to growth in the next 12 months.

“Global and economic conditions are likely to be exacerbated by pressures on working capital and generating cash, and access to finance, plus issues such as Brexit and trading tariffs, difficulties in recruiting, upskilling and retaining staff, and a nationwide shortage of industrial space.”

He added that many employers would come under severe pressure to increase wages in line with inflation as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

“Meanwhile, business owners must also factor in issues such as Industry 4.0 replacing more traditional manufacturing methods and pressures to invest in becoming carbon neutral.”

The survey also asks whether government support for manufacturing is seen as adequate and seeks to identify manufacturing’s preferred support network, such as external advisors and members of manufacturing networks, trade organisations, and local chambers.

Stephen Morley, President of the Confederation of British Metalforming, concluded: “We are continually lobbying Government for support for our 200 members and, importantly, industry in general, as supply chains are all so closely interlinked.

“In order to make the most persuasive case and suggest the best possible solutions to the powers that be in Whitehall, we need intelligence from the people at the coalface, telling us about their challenges, their opportunities and the issues they’d like us to address.

“Energy is obviously a major concern for all of us at the moment and inflation continues to place increased pressure on management teams emerging from the shadows of Covid-19 and the complexities of Brexit.”

The survey includes 12 multiple choice questions that should take less than five minutes to complete, and one lucky winner will win a Formula E Scalextric set in December, with the results being published in January 2023.

For further information, call 0121 543 1900 or email

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