Since May, the uncertainty over the future of British Steel has been a big topic within the manufacturing sector.

After the company went into liquidation, the future of the British firm looked uncertain, with its 4,000 employees relying on government through the Official Receiver – who has been running the company for the last six months.

On Monday, China’s Jingye Group agreed in principle to buy British Steel for £70 million, which could see the 4,000 jobs in the UK safeguarded. British Steel currently makes up a third of UK steel production and is set to intensify its production with the Chinese group.

Jingye reportedly aims to increase production at the Scunthorpe plant from 2.5 million tonnes per year to more than 3 million tonnes.

This is perhaps more positive news for the manufacturing sector, as it follows the results of the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) in Quarter 3 which showed business confidence in profitability and turnover is plummeting in the industry.

The balance of businesses in the sector planning to increase capital expenditure has also reduced by more than three quarters from 28 per cent (Q3, 2018) to six per cent (Q3, 2019). The results of the survey also found that over half (61 per cent) of manufacturing companies within the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area identify exchange rates as their primary concern.

The QES is the private sector’s largest business survey, and I would like to encourage local companies to take part in our recently launched final survey of the year.

By taking part, you allow the Chamber to take your concerns and place them in front of the HM Treasury and the Monetary Policy Committee. To take part now, go to