The UK is ranked 9th for manufacturing output (but only 17th for productivity). East Lancashire has 45,000 people, more than double the national average, employed in the sector.

Throughout the last decade, the Chamber, reflecting the quality and resilience of the local manufacturing base, defied the conventional wisdom and (wrong) perception that manufacturing was no longer important or competitive, and lobbied vigorously for recognition that it was an important asset for any modern economy. We led the campaign in Lancashire (100,000 jobs –many in ‘high-tech’) that culminated in the Strategy: ‘Supporting the continued success of Manufacturing in Lancashire’.

There is now national recognition that manufacturing matters, and the Chamber now chairs a Regional Manufacturing Forum, comprising manufacturers large and small, Local Enterprise partnerships, politicians, sector groups, The Manufacturing Institute and Government representatives. This Forum’s primary objective is simple – to raise the profile and esteem of NW manufacturing, so that it secures investment for the NW and its companies, and becomes a career of choice.