Resurging and rebalancing

The manufacturing sector is crucial to the revival of the UK economy. It is the growth of SMEs within the sector that will support an economic recovery.

Lloyds Bank have further strengthened their 13 local manufacturing teams across the country, who offer support and guidance to these SME firms as they work towards their growth ambitions.

As head of manufacturing, David Atkinson oversees the network of over 100 relationship directors and managers, who have each gained a formal accreditation with the Warwick Manufacturing Group at Warwick University to build upon their knowledge and understanding of the sector.

Atkinson’s team is committed to helping local manufacturers achieve success, whether that’s making a strategic acquisition, moving to new premises or supporting a growing demand to invest in new machinery, in order to further accelerate economic recovery across Britain.

Over the past year, Lloyds have supported businesses from right across the UK. Deals have included a £560,000 expansionary finance package for metal presswork manufacturer HT Brigham in the Midlands, an £890,000 loan for Norfolk’s Wolf Brewery to support a new automated bottling line and a five-figure loan through the Funding for Lending Scheme for The Handcrafted Card Company in the North East.

Manufacturers are increasingly looking beyond just servicing domestic markets and are targeting emerging economies for growth opportunities. Lloyd’s teams work closely with UK Trade and Investment, UK Export Finance and their own international business managers to support these businesses to gain a foothold in new foreign markets and achieve exporting success.

Lloyds also recognise that the UK manufacturing industry still has challenges ahead if it is to maintain its position in the global marketplace, and the projected skills shortage of engineers is a major obstacle that needs to be overcome.

To help fill this skills gap, Lloyds have launched a £1m a year partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry for the new Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre. The site is designed to help advise young talent and develop more than 1,000 engineering apprentices and trainees over the next five years.

Lloyds also committed to £4bn of new lending to the sector by the end of 2017, through their manufacturing pledge, to drive growth in the sector. Atkinson is delighted to say that so far to date Lloyds are ahead of their plans to deliver this.

Atkinson is excited about the opportunities that Lloyds face into and they aim to anticipate and respond to the needs of manufacturers to ensure that the sector continues to grow and develop, building on its reputation. Alongside the ambition and talent in the industry, Lloyds are optimistic for the future of manufacturing in the UK and remain confident that it will continue to thrive with the right support and focus.