Yorkshire can be the “engine” for change in bringing manufacturing power back to the UK

Yorkshire can be the “engine” for change in bringing manufacturing power back to the UK, a former MP has said.

File photo dated 19/11/08 of workers in a factory (PA/David Davies)

Caroline Flint has called for manufacturing jobs to be brought “back home” and said the region could lead the way in the green revolution if it “embraces” the agenda.

The former MP for Don Valley, who is also the chairman of the Institute for Prosperity, a research group focused on economic problems, said: “The UK needs to give priority to energy, technology, and the green revolution. This is the new race if the UK wants to be a leading force in manufacturing once more, and Yorkshire can be the engine for this change.

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“There are new manufacturing opportunities for Yorkshire and Humber towns if we embrace this agenda. The Institute’s 10 key demands are practical and essential to reviving UK manufacturing and creating the supply chains to sustain the sector.”

The comments from Ms Flint come as the think tank called for manufacturing to account for 15 per cent of GDP by 2025, as part of a 10-point plan to revive British industry.

Ms Flint added: “We’re not short of ideas in the UK but too often, we fail to hold on to innovation, train our people, and make it worthwhile for British manufacturers to do business here.

“So much of our manufacturing went overseas because it was cheaper and a by-product was a reduction of our carbon emissions. Countries like China saw their economy benefit and their emissions go up.

“If we care about our economy, jobs and the environment it is time to bring manufacturing jobs back home.”

The 10point plan also calls for more ambitious targets to be set to make Britain attractive to manufacturing businesses as well as a reversal in technical training budgets.

John Mills, founder of the Institute, said: “To achieve strong economic growth and make the UK a global powerhouse once more, we need to start with a solid manufacturing base. Our 10 proposed reforms set out today clearly outline the key steps the Government needs to take immediately to achieve economic prosperity.”

A Government spokesman said: “This Government is committed to supporting UK manufacturing and recognises the vital role it plays in the economy, which is why we are investing billions in relevant education, research and development, and are creating thousands of skilled new manufacturing jobs across the country, including in Yorkshire.

“These include extensive tax breaks and £147m to help slash carbon emissions.”