Ceramics leaders respond to Chancellor’s Spending Review

The British Ceramic Confederation has cautiously welcomed the Chancellor’s 2020 Spending Review. The announcement that the government is investing £3.7 billion in extra funding to build on the Plan for Jobs and help the economy recover from the impacts of coronavirus is particularly welcomed. Leaders have questioned, however, whether this will provide enough of a boost to help manufacturers return to pre-pandemic levels of output and are concerned at the lack of mention of Brexit within the Chancellor’s speech.

Dr Laura Cohen, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said, “The ceramic sector has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and although some manufacturers have managed to bounce back more quickly, product demand remains highly subdued.

“Those companies supplying into the hospitality, aerospace and construction sectors have been particularly badly affected and although we welcome the extension of the Job Retention Scheme and other financial support schemes, government needs to target its support where it is most needed to help these businesses to rebuild.”

She added, “With 57% of members’ experts going to the EU, an urgent trade deal is vital to help the ceramic manufacturing sector bounce back from Covid-19 and tackle our challenge of decarbonising while staying internationally competitive. A no-deal Brexit would be devastating for our industry.”

The announcement of £2.2 billion of new loan finance for house builders within the Spending Review is also welcome and should provide a much-needed boost to house builders and construction products suppliers, including UK manufacturers of bricks, clay roof and ceramic wall tiles, clay drainage pipes and sanitaryware.

Dr Cohen added, “The government’s plans to continue investing in house building is welcomed, however, it will be crucial that UK ceramic manufactured products rather than imports contribute to building our durable, sustainable homes.”

Other announcements of note for manufacturers included £240 million to support the production of low-carbon hydrogen at scale, an extra £200 million of new funding for Carbon Capture and Storage and a new £200 million Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) to accelerate near-to-market low-carbon energy innovations.

Dr Cohen added, “We support government’s Net Zero ambition and aspirational target. As an energy intensive industry, we need a genuine partnership with government to develop decarbonisation technologies for the ceramics sector. These and green energy supplies need to be affordable for our sector to be internationally competitive.”

 

—ENDS—

For further information please contact: Laura Cohen, Chief Executive, British Ceramic Confederation, Federation House, Station Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2SA.

Tel:  01782 572845 M: 07827 358613

E-mail:  laurac@ceramfed.co.uk

Notes to editors

The British Ceramic Confederation is the trade association for the UK ceramic manufacturing industry, representing the common and collective interests of all sectors of the industry. Its member companies cover the full spectrum of ceramic manufacturing, including the supply of materials, and comprise over 90% of the industry’s manufacturing capacity.

Member offer: Grant Thornton R&D tax incentives

The Confederation has entered into an agreement with Grant Thornton to help members access and unlock value from innovation tax incentives, in particular:

  1. R&D Tax Incentives: topical updates and opportunities, current HMRC topics and areas under consultation.
  2. Patent Box: the opportunity to reduce the Corporation Tax on profits attributed to patented inventions.

The UK Government is keen to drive innovation, productivity gains and economic growth. To help achieve this, established tax incentives are available to generate a significant cash reward to support innovation. However, many companies which are investing in obtaining patent protection or conducting research and development (R&D) are still not taking advantage of these valuable cash incentives or not aware of pertinent changes to reliefs.

In particular, during Covid-19 there are a number of considerations where other government support has been taken. R&D tax incentives are potentially available irrespective of whether the company is profitable or making losses. The average SME cash benefit is approximately £54,000 per annum, and higher for larger companies. This can help to reduce your tax cost or secure a significant cash payment into the business.

Download the BCC Grant Thornton R&D flyer

For more information and to take advantage of the BCC member offer contact Jon Flitney.

Job Advertisement – Communications Manager (Part-time, 12 hrs per week)

The British Ceramic Confederation represents the collective interests of all sectors of ceramic manufacturing in Britain, we safeguard the industry’s prosperity and lead sector discussions and negotiations with Government and public authorities.

The Confederation also provides wide-ranging professional advice to members, covering employment law, health and safety, energy, emissions, planning and waste management issues. We also promote environmentally responsible and sustainable manufacturing. We’re driven by a member-centred strategy which focuses on supporting the thriving ceramic manufacturing sector by providing the right conditions to help, protect and grow our members’ businesses.

The Confederation is recruiting an experienced Communications Manager. This role involves developing and promoting a strong and positive image of the UK ceramic manufacturing industry with a broad range of stakeholders. This is an exciting and challenging role, working with the Chief Executive Dr Laura Cohen. The successful candidate will become fully involved in a wide range of communication initiatives including promotion of the sector and the confederation. They will also deliver a range of projects within a small and dynamic team.

The post holder will have experience in business communications and have a high level of literacy, IT skills and numeracy, with the capability and energy to adapt to a diverse range of responsibilities. They need a proven track record in managing projects.

The successful candidate will need excellent communication, organisational, influencing and interpersonal skills. Experience in manufacturing industry or a membership organisation is desirable.  A full driving licence is required.

The salary will be up to £36,000 per year, depending on experience pro rata for 12 hours per week minimum, i.e. £12,340 per year. These working hours may need to have some flexibility. There may be scope for increased hours at a later date. Although this post is a part time position usually based in our offices in Stoke-on-Trent all staff are working from home temporarily at present.

The person specification can be seen here.

BCC has received a number of strong submissions for this position and it is now closed to applications.

 

Ceramic leaders welcome Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan

The British Ceramic Confederation has welcomed the Chancellor’s statement today aimed at helping the economy recover from the impacts of coronavirus and protect jobs.

Dr Laura Cohen, Chief Executive of the British Ceramic Confederation, said, “We await more detail on the Chancellor’s announcements, but they are broadly very welcome and will provide much-needed relief among our members as they look to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

“We appreciate that last week the Chancellor took the time to visit our member Emma Bridgewater to discuss the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. He also received a briefing from us outlining the broader issues with product demand in the rest of the ceramic sector, setting out why a mechanism needed to be in place for supporting job retention in badly affected sectors and their UK supply chains beyond October.  We appreciate in the Job Support Scheme, how our members’ need for flexibility has been addressed, as part-time working to match reduced demand will be likely during waves of the pandemic and recovery.

Dr Cohen added, “The delayed repayments on Bounce Back and CBILS loans and extended payment of Q1 2020 VAT bills will provide a welcome boost to cash flow at this challenging time for many ceramic manufacturers around the country.

“In addition, the extension of the temporary reduction in VAT from 20% to 5% for food and accommodation in the hospitality and tourism sectors will be welcomed by British ceramic cateringware manufacturers, who have seen demand for their high-quality tableware drop dramatically during coronavirus closures.

Dr Cohen added, “The next few months will be critical for our sector. To really help our industry we need government to agree and ratify a trade deal with the EU by the end of the year and be unashamedly supportive of British manufacturing in public procurement.”

—ENDS—

For further information please contact: Laura Cohen, Chief Executive, British Ceramic Confederation, Federation House, Station Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2SA.

Tel:  07827 358613

E-mail | www.ceramfed.co.uk

Notes to editors

The British Ceramic Confederation is the trade association for the UK ceramic manufacturing industry, representing the common and collective interests of all sectors of the industry. Its member companies cover the full spectrum of ceramic manufacturing, including the supply of materials, and comprise over 90% of the industry’s manufacturing capacity.

Pledge Awards 2020 Programme Launched

PLEDGE AWARDS PROGRAMME

We are delighted to share further details about the programme for this year’s Health & Safety Pledge Awards event, which is being held on October 15, from 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

As well as the presentation of individual and company awards, the event will feature a number of special guest speakers, including:

  • Keith Barker, Wienerberger Ltd. (BCC President’s Address)
  • Phil Crosbie & Paul Verrico, Eversheds LLP
  • Ed Corbett & Victoria Whitehouse, Health & Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Tom Oxley, Bamboo Mental Health
  • Natalia Cohen, Adventurer & Official World Record Holder

View the full Pledge Awards 2020 Programme.

Like many businesses, we have had to adapt to the current circumstances and this year’s event is being held online. Registration is per company meaning unlimited numbers of employees can attend, with the cost dependant on company size. A link to join the event will be sent to registrants the day before the event.

Book your company’s tickets here.

For further information email Sonia Mayer.