Firms bring work back to the UK

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One in six firms have brought work back to Britain from overseas in the past three years in a trend towards “re-shoring” production, according to a new study.

The EEF manufacturers’ organisation said a survey of 271 companies showed that most work was being brought back from China and Eastern Europe.

The main reasons were improved quality, delivery and logistics costs, while one in six firms were also switching to a UK supplier for parts and components.

EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said: “The trend may be gradual but is highly encouraging to see more re-shoring continuing. While it will always be two-way traffic, the need to be closer to customers, to have ever greater control of quality and the continued erosion of low labour costs in some competitor countries means that in many cases it makes increasingly sound business sense.

“It is now key that government policy supports the most competitive business environment possible so that we continue to see more high-value innovative manufacturers invest in and sell from the UK.”

Cipriano Beredo, of law firm Squire Sanders, which helped with the study, added: “While moving any manufacturing across borders is a significant decision for management, the report shows that this is not motivated solely by cost, but often to improve the quality of what is being produced and enhance customer service.”