Manufacturing Five (M5) Urges Political Consensus for Long-Term Vision in the UK

by Anna

As the UK approaches a general election, the Manufacturing Five (M5), a coalition of leading advanced manufacturing sectors, is calling for a united political front to establish a long-term vision for UK manufacturing. With a combined turnover of £309bn, the M5 proposes a comprehensive “manifesto for growth,” outlining crucial actions necessary to enhance competitiveness and foster growth in innovative manufacturing.


The five-point manifesto focuses on key reforms to narrow the gap with global competitors and unleash manufacturing’s potential to drive prosperity and pride across the UK. The plan centers on building the workforce of the future, regulatory frameworks for growth, support for innovation, leadership in sustainability, and securing the UK’s position as a leading trading nation.


The M5 sectors, spanning life sciences, chemicals, food and drink, automotive, aerospace, defence, security, and space, employ nearly one million people in roles that are 46% more productive than the national average. These sectors are responsible for over £2 out of every £5 invested in research and development (R&D) by UK businesses.

Despite their strengths, the M5 sectors have encountered disruptions and changes in operating environments, necessitating solutions to overcome challenges and navigate a new era of global competition driven by targeted national industrial strategies.

The proposed manifesto emphasizes the critical role of advanced manufacturing in shaping the UK’s future and calls for a coherent, long-term strategy to ensure continued success. To meet challenges and foster innovation, any future government must create conditions conducive to thriving and innovative UK manufacturing, generating new job opportunities and encouraging investment across all regions.

The report outlines five pillars to drive sustained growth:

Building the Workforce of Tomorrow: Developing a skilled and adaptable workforce ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Regulation for Growth: Implementing policies and regulations fostering innovation and growth within the manufacturing sectors.

Delivering an Innovation Nation: Prioritizing innovation as an essential element for manufacturing growth.

Harnessing Britain’s Place in the World: Capitalizing on the UK’s global presence to promote its manufacturing industries.

Delivering a Sustainable Future: Working in partnership with businesses to support the transition to more sustainable manufacturing approaches.

Leaders from M5 sectors voiced their support for the initiative, emphasizing the potential for economic growth, employment, and decarbonization. They highlighted the importance of a strong industrial strategy to capitalize on opportunities and solidify the UK’s position as a global manufacturing powerhouse. The call for urgent action underscores the need for a more competitive investment climate, emphasizing stability and sustained economic growth for businesses across the nation.




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