Infrastructure spending must trickle down to UK manufacturing sector

By Johnathan Dudley, Midlands & South West Managing Partner and Head of Manufacturing Business, at national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe


It’s clear that the Chancellor intends to continue to use Keynesian economics commercially to drive growth by doubling down on infrastructural investment in the Sizewell Nuclear plant and the various large rail projects, including HS2.

But this only works if that investment is retained and trickled down right here in the UK economy. In the interest of British manufacturers and the economy there simply has to be robust “post Brexit – buy British” procurement initiatives here and the same should also go for expanded investment in schools and the NHS too, or the invested money will leak abroad.

All too often this has happened in the past and the ability of manufacturers to innovate and redeploy to make what the country needed in the pandemic is testament to that. Sadly, since the pandemic there has been a reversion to traditional supply chains, much of which is imported.

Sizewell will indeed reduce reliance on third party fossil-based fuel supplies and will help our zero carbon commitments but will indeed take time to come. I haven’t seen anything in the Chancellor’s Statement that will help manufacturers cut their energy costs from next April.

This could be “mission critical” for many businesses on the brink and hardly supports the Chancellor’s objective of stability.

The Chancellor has announced that he wants the UK to be the new “Silicone Valley” and support innovation, yet he has announced cuts and ominous sounding changes to R&D, for which we await detail, which those very innovative businesses rely on to develop world-beating products and processes.

Of course, there is a need to stop abuse, however so many legitimate claims are being held up by ever increasing scrutiny as it is.

The Treasury and HMRC could well be combining to stifle investment in innovation in spite of the Chancellor’s stated intentions



  • Miriam Sherwood, Director, People Communications & Marketing, Crowe UK. Tel: (0)121 543 1900,

Notes to Editors:

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