Some South West manufacturers may be planning to move supplier bases out of the EU ahead of Brexit, creating vital opportunities for the region, according to a report.

The SWMAS Manufacturing Barometer found that 16 per cent of the region's SME manufacturers are now looking for suppliers in the UK to replace those currently sourced in the EU, while five per cent are considering moving supply now sourced outside the EU to the UK.

Simon Howes, CEO of Exelin Group, said: “The desire to source new domestic suppliers indicates UK SME manufacturers are nervous about securing supplies post-Brexit, but this could provide a short to medium-term boost for UK businesses if they can meet this need.

“This comes at a time when companies like Honda say they are moving production out of the UK, a move which will negatively affect their supply chain and create a hole in forward orders.

"Our research shows a much-needed chink of light with new opportunities coming to the market.”

The report looked at location of suppliers, and whether UK SME manufacturers intend to relocate any of their existing supply base. Nearly a quarter of respondents who currently source from the EU are considering buying those components or goods elsewhere - 16% of these said they intend to look for suppliers in the UK. A further 5% of those surveyed said supplies currently sourced from outside the EU could now be sourced in the UK.

“This change indicates a significant demand on time, effort and resource as UK SME manufacturers identify new suppliers and establish relationships with them. It also suggests a vital opportunity for the domestic market and asks questions about the visibility, availability and capacity of the UK supply base.”

More details here.