Sheffield companies are exporting their way out of recession, according to figures from Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.
The news comes as the Global Manufacturing Festival gets under way and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his 2012 Budget.
Executive director Richard Wright says the volume of export documents that the Chamber processed for local firms in the first 10 months of the current financial year is 25 per cent up on figures for the previous year.
The United Arab Emirates is leading the league of export destinations – accounting for almost a 10th of the documents the Chamber processed. Turkey and China were also high on the list, featuring among the top 10 export destinations with Russia and India.
Mr Wright says suppliers to the aerospace, gas and oil sectors are faring particularly well and the medical sector is also holding up.
He is optimistic about the prospects for local manufacturers and sees major opportunities arising from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership’s success in negotiating enhanced capital allowances worth £300 million, to be split equally amongst development sites on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, the enterprise zone in Rotherham and Markham Vale.
Order books are holding up well for most manufacturers in the Sheffield City Region, but people are still slightly nervous about long term prospects, according to Master Cutler Pam Liversidge.
Companies are particularly worried about what could happen in Europe and are still suffering the effects of late payment by the larger firms that are their customers. Both Mr Wright and the Master Cutler would like to see Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne introduce 100 per cent capital allowances for manufacturing investments in his Budget today.
They want cash that has been used by the Bank of England to buy Government bonds through the process known as “Quantitative Easing” to be invested in businesses by recreating the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation.
ICFC was formed in 1945 by the Bank of England and the major British banks to provide long-term investment funding for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The company was renamed Investors in Industry in 1983 and, as 3i, was sold off by the banks four years later.