Leeds is part of a Yorkshire manufacturing boom - despite Brexit jitters

The number of manufacturing businesses in Leeds and across Yorkshire has grown by four per cent in the past year, according to a study.

Monday, 1st August 2016, 3:33 pm

Manufacturing accounts for 16 per cent of the region’s total output, the third highest proportion in the UK, the report by manufacturers organisation EEF and accountancy firm BDO LLP. The sector accounts for 10.5 per cent of the region’s total workforce, with 285,000 people now being employed by manufacturers in Yorkshire.

Despite this, manufacturers in the region are not immune to post-referendum jitters.

Just prior to the vote for Brexit, the region scored 6.4 out of a possible ten points for confidence – since the vote this score has dropped to 5.4 out of ten.

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However, as all the UK regions have suffered a decline in confidence, Yorkshire has been able to retain its second place spot in the UK business confidence rankings.

Andy Tuscher, Yorkshire and Humber region director at EEF, said: “Despite some challenging times, manufacturing in our region remains a force to be reckoned with. This last year shows firms getting back into their stride.

“But the referendum outcome provided a jolt and it’s clear that we’re now on a new path with fresh challenges ahead.”

Leeds is already gearing itself up to train the next generation of manufacturing stars.

The YEP has previously reported that a new university technical college opens it doors in Leeds in September. Some of the employers who are backing the UTC - including Unilever, Siemens, Agfa Graphics, 600 UK, Airedale Springs and Cutting Technologies - have called for young people to go into manufacturing and engineering in order to safeguard the future of the sector in the region. Mark Kennedy, principal of UTC Leeds, previously said that the school would offer “a gateway to fulfilling and lucrative careers in manufacturing and engineering”.