New research by a leading manufacturer of bespoke materials handling products reveals a resurgence in interest for products ‘Made in Britain’.

Wilmat Limited has carried out a survey of other UK firms in an effort to find out more about attitudes to equipment designed and built in Britain, particularly within the sector it operates in.

The survey revealed strong support for British manufacturers of materials handling equipment, with more than three quarters of respondents (79 per cent) saying local sourcing was essential, important or a consideration when buying new equipment. More than 300 people, from across a wide range of industry sectors and from across the UK responded to the survey, more than two thirds of them working for companies employing more than 100 people.

The reasons they gave for preferring to buy British were diverse, but a clear pattern has emerged from the research. Teresa Hands, Wilmat Managing Director, explained: “Decision makers attach real importance to materials handling equipment being made in Britain, with less than one in ten thinking it was not at all important, compared with over half for whom it was a major plus.

“Patriotism and support for the local economy were certainly real factors in their purchasing decision, with 47 per cent of respondents saying it was a major plus and 12 per cent saying it was essential.” However, the decision to support UK manufacturers was not only a decision made with the heart, according to Teresa, there are sound business reasons too.

“When asked what ‘Made in Britain’ means to them, the majority said it represented quality products, if at a slightly higher price. But they also stressed the importance of compliance with relevant regulations and the traceability of components,” she continued Respondents also cited the importance of a shorter and more reliable supply chain, availability of spare parts and quicker delivery times.”The survey was commissioned by Wilmat following record sales at the end of 2012, the vast majority of orders coming from UK customers. The figures backed up a growing feeling at the company that they were witnessing a resurgence in interest in UK manufactured products at home, rather than overseas. “This view appears to be vindicated by the research and we’re delighted that ‘Made in Britain’ still means something of value to so many UK businesses,” Teresa added.

A full copy of the Wilmat Made in Britain report can be downloaded at