Survey will show how Swindon’s manufacturers are coping with twin impact of Covid and Brexit

January 22, 2021

Small and medium-sized manufacturers in Swindon are being encouraged to have their say on trading beyond Brexit as part of an influential industry survey. 

The quarterly Manufacturing Barometer is the UK’s largest survey of its kind and is looking to find out how companies are coping with the early months of life after leaving the EU and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The findings of the survey, conducted by SWMAS (the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service) and the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), will be used to inform future government policy and support.

Findings from the last Manufacturing Barometer, which took place as the UK-EU talks entered their final hours with no sign of a deal, revealed just 2% of the South West’s small to medium-sized manufacturers thought Brexit would have a positive impact on their recovery, while more than half admitted they still could not predict how the transition out of the EU would affect their business.

SWMAS and MGP are now urging as many SME manufacturers as possible to take part this time to give a clear picture of current conditions and what actions are needed to enable future sector growth.

More than 500 businesses are expected to participate this quarter.

SWMAS managing director Nick Golding, pictured, said: “The Barometer is the perfect opportunity for manufacturers to highlight their specific needs and call for assistance that accelerates Covid-19 recovery and enables future growth.

“Last quarter, 47% of respondents were unable to predict how the end of the EU transition period would affect their Covid-19 recovery plans…we want to find out how this has changed now that the Brexit deal is done. 

“The Barometer also aims to uncover how SME manufacturers expect trade to be impacted now Britain has left the EU and what further clarity and support is required to help businesses adapt accordingly.”

Manufacturing Growth Programme managing director Martin Coats, pictured, added: “These are all really important questions and will give us the first clear view of some of the initial Brexit teething problems and what might need to be done to overcome them.

“Over 98% of English manufacturing businesses are SMEs, playing a significant role in our economy. Therefore it is essential that we get a valuable insight from firms across the sector and the Barometer will help us to do just that.”

This quarter’s Manufacturing Barometer survey will remain open until 4pm next Friday, January 22. The results will be published in early February.

To take part in the survey, visit

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