BLOG ARTICLE: 24/02/2021

Ceramics leaders call on Government to “buy British” ahead of March Budget

The British Ceramic Confederation has called for the Government to back UK manufacturers ahead of next week’s Budget.

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Ceramics leaders call on Government to “buy British” ahead of March Budget

CERAMIC industry trade association the British Ceramic Confederation has called for the Government to back UK manufacturers ahead of next week’s Budget.

The organisation, which represents more than 90 per cent of the UK ceramic industry’s manufacturing capacity, wants the Government to “use every opportunity to buy British” and to promote UK manufactured goods internationally.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Confederation’s 90 member companies directly employed more than 17,500 people and generated annual sales of £1.6bn (including more than £0.6bn of exports), with 57 per cent of exports going to the EU.

In their representation to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, the Confederation has called for a range of measures to help the ceramics sector recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and grow trade post- Brexit, as well as supporting the sector in the Government’s goal to decarbonise the UK economy by 2050.

These include:

* the extension of financial support to the supply chains of sectors badly affected by Covid

* more support for Brexit-related costs for exporters

* support on COVID-related industrial energy and carbon costs for energy-intensive consumers

* the extension or replacement of the Job Retention Scheme

* increased funding for trade missions and exhibitions

* financial support to develop and deploy new industrial decarbonisation technologies appropriate for ceramics

* to establish a National Manufacturing Skills Taskforce to redeploy skilled workers and retrain those who have been made redundant

Dr Andrew McDermott, Technical Director of the British Ceramic Confederation, said: “Next week’s budget comes at a critical time, with the sector facing the triple challenge of recovering from COVID-19, adapting to new trading arrangements with the EU and transitioning towards net-zero emissions while being internationally competitive.

“COVID-19 and the ensuing economic shock has had a sudden and dramatic impact on all ceramic businesses and supply chains, and exports have understandably taken a hit.

“We call on the Government to use every opportunity to buy British, re-launch the Great Britain and Northern Ireland international promotion campaign to generate jobs and growth, and encourage the use of UK manufactured goods.”

The 2021 Budget will take place on Wednesday, March 3.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Hannah Hiles, Communications Manager, British Ceramic Confederation

M: 07535 084055 E-mail:  hannahh@ceramfed.co.uk