Manufacturing key to Brexit economy

The UK must focus on northern manufacturing post-Brexit to keep the economy on track, according to the chief executive of Sheffield City Council.

John Mothersole said the Northern Powerhouse must ensure it is central to new trade deals following the country’s departure from the EU, especially as sectors, including financial services, might become “more vulnerable”.

Earlier this month supercar company McLaren announced a £50million deal to build a factory in Sheffield City Region, creating 200 jobs.

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He was speaking at a conference in Manchester attended by council chiefs from cities across the North including Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool.

He added: “Not using Northern economic assets would clearly be a lost opportunity, but post-Brexit it is even more vital for the North to be part of the solution, especially as some sectors might become more vulnerable, for example financial services.

“I also think that in times of uncertainty, which this is, the focus should be on business fundamentals, and Northern fundamentals are great – innovative universities and research capacity, a talented and large workforce, and manufacturing capability and capacity, all of which are strengths that will help sustain us and the wider UK economy until the future is clearer.

“Sheffield City Region’s manufacturing excellence is well known and most recently reflected in the announcement from McLaren Automotive where we are seeing a renowned company developing its presence locally.”