Onward Logo Colour White 2021

Making it big: The future of UK manufacturing

UK manufacturing has been in decline for the last fifty years, and with that decline has come the erosion of stable, skilled jobs and the hollowing out of industry in many parts of the North, Midlands and Wales. Towns and cities that formed the engine of the industrial revolution now make up some of the areas most in need of levelling up.

The shift to a services-based economy has tended to benefit city centre locations. If we want to see more good jobs outside city centres, what role can manufacturing potentially play? The UK has a wealth of manufacturing successes, from automotive and aerospace in the Midlands and North, to optoelectronics in Scotland. This event considers what policies could support UK manufacturing and bring good, skilled jobs to places that need more.


  • Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister for Business and Industry
  • Professor Juergen Maier CBE, Chair, Digital Catapult
  • Professor Janet Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy, The University of Warwick
  • Ian Muldowney, Chief Operating Officer and Engineering Director, BAE Systems Air