Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

A-level Business Studies - Manufacturing in the UK: UK manufacturing businesses

A guide to resources about manufacturing in the UK, compiled by your librarians.

British Aerospace Industry

This video introduces the Rolls Royce Aerospace company, based in Derby, UK.

Find out more on the Rolls Royce website.

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics:

100,000+ direct jobs in UK Aerospace

Annual earnings = £24.2bn

Revenue: £12.4bn

75% of turnover to export markets

17% global market share

British Automotive Industry

This video provides an overview of the automotive industry in Britain; a very successful area of UK manufacturing.

This video (filmed in 2011) discusses JCB's success and compares the growth of JCB with overall trends in manufacturing in the UK.

Sir Antony Bamford, chairman of JCB, also mentions areas where government support would help the UK manufacturing industry.

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics:

£6bn investment in past two years 2.6 million cars registered in the UK 2013

Two out of the top 10 selling cars for 2013, the Vauxhall Astra (4th) and the Nissan Qashqai (6th), are made in the UK, while the Ford Fiesta was the UK’s best selling car.

1.58m vehicles (81% exported) and 2.5m engines (62% exported) made in the UK last year

2,350 automotive suppliers in UK, employing 82,000 people

Typically £55bn annual turnover, £27bn revenue in 2011

720,000 employed across automotive industry, 140,000 directly employed in manufacturing

More than 75,000 young people employed as apprentices over the last 5 years. 18,000 in automotive retail at any one time.

British Defence Industry

In 2012 the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, visited BAE Systems in Samlesbury.

This video includes his views on his visit to Samlesbury and the importance of enterprise zones and UK manufacturing.

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics:

£35bn annual UK turnover

The UK is the world’s second biggest defence exporter behind the US

Employs 300,000 overall in the UK 9,000 defence companies including small businesses exist in the UK

BAE Systems – the UK’s largest defence company – currently employs 40,000 domestically

10% of UK manufacturing is made up by defence

British Chemical Industry

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics and CIA:

£60bn revenue in 2012

600,000 people are currently employed in the industry

Represents 15% of UK manufacturing GVA

Has an average employee cost of £42,000 per head

Added £20m to the UK balance of trade every day for the last twenty years

British Food and Drink Industry

The UK economy has grown for the fifth consecutive quarter, and is now just below the level it was before the recession began in 2008.
The figures are fuelled by strong performances in the service sector, construction and manufacturing - including by small businesses.
One of those thriving is British chocolate manufacturing company Montezuma's, started by two married lawyers.
The BBC's Steph McGovern took a guided tour of their factory with co-founder Helen Pattinson. (Source: Youtube)

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics and FDF:

Turnover of £76bn in 2012, the UK’s largest manufacturing sector

Accounts for 15% of all UK manufacturing GVA Employs 400,000 workers domestically, 15% of manufacturing workforce

Exports over £12bn of food and non-alcoholic drink products a year, 77% of which go to the EU Invested over £1bn in to R&D in 2011, resulting in over 8,500 new products

Businesses have reduced rate of injuries by over 50% over the last 20 years

British Steel Industry

This very informative video looks at the future of the British Steel Industry.

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics and Scribd:

Contributed £2.9bn to the UK balance of trade in 2011

More waste steel is recovered in the UK and recycled than all other materials combined

Each tonne of scrap recycled by the industry saves 1.9 tonnes of iron ore and 0.6 tonnes of coal

British Textile Industry

This 2011 video, discusses the history of the Lancashire cotton mills.

The video focuses on the Lancashire Textiles company.

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics:

Comprises over 79,000 businesses, employing over 340,000 people

Gross value added for the sector in the UK is estimated at over £11.5 billion, with GVA per head measured at an average of £34,220


British Electronics Industry

North Yorkshire LCD TV brand Cello Electronics announces the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.  The video includes information on the benefits of having the facility based in the UK.

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics:

Worth £78bn a year

Is the world’s fifth largest in terms of production

Employs over 850,000 people

This makes up 2.9% of the UK’s workforce

In semiconductors, almost 80% of the activity comes from foreign direct investment

The UK is home to 40% of Europe’s semiconductor design houses

British Construction Industry

This video is created by a training centre for the construction industry.

It provides a good overview of the various skills that are involved in the construction process.

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics

1 in 14 of the UK workforce is employed in construction – nearly 2 million people

Provides 88,000 new job opportunities yearly Employs just under 200,000 women in the sector

More than 35% of construction employees run their own companies

More than a quarter of employers have recruited a school leaver in the last 2-3 years

Nearly 50% of employers in the building services engineering industry take part in the modern apprenticeship scheme

Furniture Industry

This video is an advert for Marks and Spencers' range of furniture.

Notice that it is highlighted that the furniture is 'Made in Great Britain'

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics and The Chesterfield Company:

Over 100,000 employees within the trade UK market set to surpass £15bn by 2018

£10.73bn revenue in 2012

7.5% of overall furniture sales are made online, a figure which is increasing Living room furniture dominates the market share by as much as 90%

This video gives an example of an apprenticeship in the UK furniture industry.

British Plastics Industry

This video, from May 2013, looks at the Barkley Plastics manufacturing company.

It discusses the positive trends in manufacturing within the UK.

Information from UK Manufacturing Statistics and BPF

7,500 companies in the sector

£19bn turnover

Exports valued at £6.7bn

35% of manufactured plastics products exported

Employs 180,000 people

2.5m tonnes of plastics materials produced annually

Other manufacturing industries in the UK

This excerpt from the BBC 2 programme 'Made in Britain' looks at the history of British bicycle manufacturing.