North East businesses urged to bring work back to the region

NECC and UKTI are to hold a series of events to encourage companies to bring work back to the North East

Ross Smith
Ross Smith

Businesses across the North East are being urged to bring work back home and reap the benefits a Made in Britain badge can bring.

The North East Chamber of Commerce and UKTI, in partnership with HSBC, are staging a series of events around the region to demonstrate the impact of re-shoring work and reverse the off-shoring trend established over the last decade.

The first seminar will provide information for businesses across all sectors considering re-shoring and include presentations from local companies that have successfully re-shored.

As question and answer session with an expert panel will also take place.

NECC director of policy, Ross Smith, said: “There are many reasons to bring work back to the North East and those that have already done it are seeing the benefits.

“It’s a common misconception that cheap overseas labour is a way to cut costs, but in the long run it can prove a false economy as companies end up stung with expensive transportation costs and issues with the quality of product.”

In the last three years, one in six British companies has re-shored work back to the UK, creating 1,500 jobs.

There are many successful examples of the practice, with one of the most recent cases involving the repatriation of AMA Group in County Durham in May, marking a rejuvenation of the North East’s clothing industry.

Now, industry bodies say, there a strong appetite from many businesses for exploring such opportunities.

Joint managing director of The AMA Group, Julie Price, said: “The driving force behind us bringing clothing production back to the region was the overwhelming demand from consumers to buy products which can genuinely boast the Made in Britain label.

“In recent times we have become much more aware of where our clothing comes from, both socially and environmentally, and that, coupled with the inflexibility of sourcing products from overseas, prompted retailers to look at their suppliers.

“They’re now much more conscious of where they are sourced and that can only be a good thing for this country’s manufacturing industry and our strengths within the sector.”

Prime Minister David Cameron announced in January that a new service, Re-shore UK, would be established to bring business back to the UK.

The first seminar, which is being held at HSBC’s Team Valley Headquarters, will provide a chance for companies to hear about the support on offer.

They will also get the opportunity to hear from companies already benefiting from the process and to give views on how this can be encouraged in the North East.

The event will be especially relevant to companies considering re-shoring work and to those who may benefit from supply chain opportunities as this gathers pace.

For more information and to register visit: http://bit.ly/1qL2yAW

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