Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

Vince Cable and Mark Prisk unveil plans for “Make it in Great Britain” campaign and exhibition

Vince Cable and Mark Prisk unveil plans for “Make it in Great Britain” campaign and exhibition

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 15 November 2011

Captains of industry from world leading UK companies are backing a new Government campaign to highlight the best of modern British manufacturing at an exhibition during the Olympic Games.

Business Secretary Vince Cable and Business Minister Mark Prisk have today formally launched the Make it in Great Britain campaign, which aims to transform outdated views of UK manufacturing and dispel the myth that Britain ‘doesn’t make anything anymore’.

Senior traders such as Joe Greenwell from Ford of Britain, William Butler-Adams from Brompton Bicycles and Michael Ryan from Bombardier Aerospace are behind the campaign. They will act as the first ‘industry champions’ taking formal roles as part of the campaign and supporting its work.

The exhibition will take place at the Science Museum and will run from 24 July to 9 September 2012. The campaign builds on the already successful See Inside Manufacturing initiative and will celebrate the successes of the manufacturing sector and encourage young people to consider a career in the industry. There will also be a specific element, the Make it in Great Britain Challenge, focusing on new innovations yet to be brought to the market.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Manufacturing is our most exportable sector and is at the heart of our long term economic vision. We have outstanding manufacturing companies, both large and small and today I want to call on them to join us in being part of the Make it in Great Britain campaign.

“The Science Museum is home to some of the greatest technological advances in history, so what better place for us to exhibit the very best of British manufacturing as it stands today.”

Mark Prisk also announced that the campaign will be looking to recruit 30 rising stars of manufacturing under the age of 30, ‘30 under 30’, to inspire young people with their own experiences and support the campaign.

Manufacturing Minister Mark Prisk said:

”I’m very pleased that Joe Greenwell, William Butler-Adams and Michael Ryan, to name a few, have volunteered to be our first industry champions, I know they and their colleagues will bring great enthusiasm and drive to the campaign.

”Historic British innovations such as Stephenson’s Rocket have been inspiring young people to be engineers for generations. But we, along with industry want to show off the best, most innovative examples of British manufacturing as it is today. The modern reality is much more exciting than people may believe and the feedback from our existing See Inside Manufacturing initiative bears that out. I want that reality to inspire our young people to be our inventors, engineers and technicians of the future.”

Synonymous with advances in technology and home to examples of some of the greatest manufacturing feats in the world, the Science Museum has been selected as the perfect venue at which to display British manufacturing excellence next summer.

Director of the Science Museum Ian Blatchford commented:

“We’re incredibly excited to be hosting next year’s Make it in Great Britain Exhibition. The Science Museum and its world leading collections demonstrate some of the greatest engineering achievements of the last 200 years. We hope that as many people as possible visit the Exhibition, and see at first-hand how innovation in British manufacturing is still thriving today”

Notes to editors

1. Background to the British Manufacturing sector:

a. The UK is one of the world’s largest manufacturers. The sector contributes £140bn pa to UK economy (11.1% of GDP in 2009 – similar to France and US, but well below Germany at over 20%).

b. Manufacturing is responsible for 55% of UK exports and over 2.5m workforce jobs.

c. Manufacturing accounts for 74% of all business expenditure on UK R&D.

d. Around a third of the 1,600 new inward foreign direct investment projects in 2009 were in the areas of advanced manufacturing, life sciences, ICT and environmental technology.

2. The See Inside Manufacturing initiative has seen companies in the UK automotive industry throw open their doors to give students the chance to see one of the UK's vanguard industries and learn more about careers. Data following the pilot of the See Inside Manufacturing initiative showed:

a. 95% of those surveyed said their knowledge about the careers and opportunities available in the automotive sector is better than before.

b. 82% of those surveyed said their perception of the career opportunities within the Car Industry is more positive.

c. 82% of those surveyed said they are more likely to advise their students/contacts to consider a career in the automotive sector.

3. The Business Secretary and Mark Prisk launched the Make it in Great Britain campaign at a stakeholder event in Central London attended by 150 of Britain’s manufacturers and trade associations. Photos will be available shortly on the BIS Flickr site

4. The call for industry champions to take part in the Make it in Great Britain campaign was made on 24 October 2011. There will be up to 30 industry champions who will help overturn the persistent myth that Britain ‘has no manufacturing industry’ and will take part in, and support the campaign.

5. The full list of industry champions appointed so far are:

Steve Uden - Head of Skills, Microsoft Computing
William Butler-Adams - Chief Engineer, Brompton Bicycles
Michael Ankers - Chief Exec, Construction Products Assoc
Stephen Blatchford - Chief Exec, Chas A Blatchford
Joe Greenwell - Chairman, Ford of Britain
Ian McCubbin - Senior VP, GlaxoSmithKline Michael Ryan - VP, Bombardier Aerospace

6. For more information about the Make it in Great Britain campaign, go to

7. For 100 years, the Science Museum has been world-renowned for its historic collection, remarkable galleries and inspirational exhibitions. With around 15,000 objects on public display, the Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past few centuries. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise.

8. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.


BIS Press Office

Nick Evans
Phone: 020 7215 3496

PDNS: Mandatory Active Cyber Defence for Public Sector Networks. Latest Guide