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Manufacturers make their mark on Yorkshire Fastest 50

YORKSHIRE is witnessing its own 'march of the makers' with manufacturing and engineering companies accounting for an increasing part of the region's fastest growing businesses

The Yorkshire Fastest 50, organised in association with law firm Ward Hadaway and the Yorkshire Post, has been highlighting and celebrating the fastest growing companies across the region since 2011.

In the build-up to the 2014 Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards, analysis of previous years has revealed the growing influence of manufacturers and engineers in the annual run-down of the region’s privately-owned pace-setting businesses.

The inaugural awards in 2011 saw seven companies from the manufacturing and engineering sector make the list, which ranks profit-making businesses according to their rate of annual turnover growth.

Those businesses accounted for a total of just over £140m in turnover in the 2011 rankings.

In 2012, there were eight manufacturing and engineering companies accounting for £176.7m of total turnover and last year, there were 10 companies from that sector in the final 50, producing a total turnover of £191.6m.

The sector also provided one of the three award winners in 2013 with Magma Ceramics and Catalysts named as the Fastest Growing Medium Sized Company.

The Dewsbury-based company makes ceramics and catalysts for a range of industrial applications and has customers across the world, as well as manufacturing operations in Brazil and Vietnam.

Whilst the rises in turnover for the sector may reflect the gradually improving economic condition, the fact that manufacturing and engineering companies have continued to grow in number to make up a fifth of all the 2013 Fastest 50 companies is no coincidence, according to manufacturing and engineering employers’ association EEF, which says the improvement looks set to continue.

Andy Tuscher, North Region Director of the EEF, said: “Manufacturers in Yorkshire and the Humber are expecting an improved outlook in 2014 on the back of a predicted pick up in investment, export growth to emerging markets and an improvement in the Eurozone.

“Whilst growth is expected to be broad based across all sectors companies in the transport sectors were most positive about emerging market demand reflecting the prospects for goods such as luxury vehicles where we are well placed in the region. Advanced engineering also continues to be a strong performer.

“However, as many companies in our region will know, economic conditions remain challenging, emphasised by the majority of companies viewing ‘economic uncertainty’ as the new norm, with instability overseas and rising input costs, especially energy, being the biggest risks.

“Nonetheless, overall the picture is the most positive it has been for five years since before the financial crisis and I am very optimistic about the prospects for manufacturing in Yorkshire and the Humber.”

For Philip Jordan, Partner in the Company and Commercial team at Yorkshire Fastest 50 sponsors Ward Hadaway, the “march of the makers” across the region is also something to be celebrated.

Philip, who has worked with clients in the sector for over 20 years, said: “Engineering and manufacturing companies in the Yorkshire and Humber region have faced a lot of challenges over the past five years but they have emerged from those difficult times stronger and with renewed confidence. We need to champion that success.

“We are fortunate in Yorkshire and the Humber to have some true world leaders in their fields who are making their presence felt not just in the UK but across the globe and not only in established industries but in new technologies, such as biotechnology and nanotechnology.

“Whilst there are still issues to be addressed and difficulties to be overcome, the prospects are looking increasingly brighter for engineering and manufacturing businesses in a wide variety of different fields.

“I suspect we will once again be seeing companies from the engineering and manufacturing sector making their mark on the Yorkshire Fastest 50 this year.”

The full A to Z list of the 2014 Yorkshire Fastest 50, along with information on their activities will be revealed in the Yorkshire Post next month.

Awards will then be handed out to the fastest growing small, medium and large businesses at an awards ceremony in March with one of those three winners then receiving the ultimate accolade of being crowned Yorkshire’s overall fastest growing business, 2014.


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