Subcon survey: over half of UK manufacturers hit negatively by pandemic

1 min read

Over half of UK manufacturers polled in July 2021 by 

Subcon (taking place in person 14-16 September at the NEC) have been impacted quite or very negatively by the pandemic.

Budget cuts, job losses, customer disruption, chip shortages and supply chain issues were among the reasons cited. 

Subcon survey

On the flipside, 17 per cent of the 81 respondents were not impacted at all, and almost one quarter profited from Covid, including 9 per cent ‘very positively’, thanks to increases in sales, sector growth including medical supplies, and the opportunity to pivot online.

When asked how long they believe it will take for UK manufacturing to recover, they said:

  • 38 per cent - within 12 months
  • 26 per cent - within 3 years
  • 4 per cent - within 5 years
  • 3 per cent - never
  • 22 per cent no losses

When asked how they believe the pandemic has changed UK manufacturing over the last 18 months, they said:

  • 62 per cent - it’s increased the need to protect our supply chains
  • 52 per cent - are sourcing more locally
  • 31 per cent - it’s increased inter-company collaboration
  • 25 per cent - have improved employee wellbeing provision
  • 10 per cent - increased sustainability

“The results of this year’s survey really do tell a tale of two halves,” said Subcon event director Gordon Kirk.

“While more than half suffered negatively from the pandemic, nearly a quarter profited and 22 per cent experienced no losses," Kirk continued. "In addition, 40 per cent believe UK manufacturing will make a full recovery within 12 months and there have been many positive outcomes including a move to more domestic sourcing and increases in both sustainability and employee wellbeing services.”

Register at for a free visitor pass to Subcon, The Engineer Expo and Manufacturing Management Show. Subcon 2021 will take place at Birmingham’s NEC on 14 – 16 September 2021.