Manufacturing wheels keep turning

Barnbrook Systems backs manufacturing to bounceback

MANUFACTURING: File picture of member of staff at work at Barnbrook Systems Ltd in Fareham, Hampshire

A Hampshire manufacturing firm has welcomed the results of an industry survey as it pushes through the latest lockdown.

Fareham-based Barnbrook Systems Ltd is keeping the production lines rolling, including construction of components for life-saving fire suppression systems.

Managing director Tony Barnett backed the findings of the latest executive survey from industry trade body Make UK and accountancy giant PwC.

The survey revealed concerns about the impact of Brexit but also found that just under half of respondents (48 per cent) expected conditions within the industry to either moderately or significantly improve.

Mr Barnett said: “It is clear manufacturing faces considerable headwinds created by the latest lockdown and as the country adjusts to life outside the EU.

“However, it is encouraging to see many manufacturers express longer term confidence in the sector in the latest Make UK survey with expectations of productivity gains, investment, recruitment and sales growth.”

Mr Barnett, who has received his Covid vaccination after turning 80 in November of last year, added: “Barnbrook Systems is continuing to operate successfully as it did during the previous lockdowns.

“This is testament to the commitment and efforts of its staff, which reflect the resilience and dedication of the vast majority of businesses in the wider manufacturing sector.”

Barnbrook Systems Ltd, based in Fareham Park Road, is a designer, developer and manufacturer of many types of electro-mechanical switching devices for sectors including aerospace, rail, defence and commercial industries.

The 40-strong firm’s products include cutting-edge fuel switches, fire suppression system actuators and brake controllers.

Make UK/PwC’s Executive Survey 2021 – Building Agility in Manufacturing found that for the year ahead:

  • 48 per cent of respondents expected conditions within their industry to either moderately or significantly improve
  • 28 per cent expected conditions within their industry to remain the same
  • 24 per cent expected conditions to deteriorate moderately or significantly
  • 54 per cent expected a moderate or significant improvement in productivity
  • 44 per cent expected to moderate or significantly increase the number of permanent staff
  • 39 per cent believed UK sales will increase moderately or significantly compared 24 per cent who expect a deterioration

The top five risks were delays at customs (47 per cent), followed by national or local lockdowns (46 per cent), increased cost of meeting EU regulations (39 per cent), upward pressure on input costs (31 per cent) and political instability (30 per cent).

According to Make UK, manufacturing accounts for nine per cent of GDP. It says that the UK is the ninth largest manufacturing nation worldwide by value of output.