British manufacturers look to the future

British-based catering equipment manufacturers are in no hurry to move their operational bases.

As Glen Dimplex’s head of UK sales and marketing, Jon Usher, explains: “Our future as a business being based in the UK is very optimistic. Our research shows that caterers are more likely to choose equipment that is built in Britain, with a feeling that appliances manufactured in the UK offer something that is sought after.”

Metcalfe Catering Equipment’s MD, Neil Richards is passionate about UK manufacturing. “By purchasing and supporting British made products, the catering equipment distributor network will be supporting and backing investment, education, skills, innovation, value and prosperity generation in our economy,” he commented.

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Induced Energy’s sales director Nic Banner was very clear about his company’s commitment to being in Britain. “We have a client base that want to buy British designed and manufactured induction technology. Why would we want to leave the UK and manufacture abroad?”

Ventilation equipment manufacturer, Mansfield Pollard, shares a similar sentiment. Sales and marketing director, Andrew Glen, said: “We’re very proud of being a successful British manufacturing company and also very proud of our Yorkshire roots, having been based in Bradford since 1866. We have a very talented and loyal team of employees, some of whom have over 30 years’ service. We’re not going to change a winning formula.”

According to the vice president of Foster’s parent company ITW European Refrigeration, Paul Veried: “As long as the British manufactured product is competitively priced, for a given specification, many will buy British.

“This is something Foster is heavily focused on as a business – making products that are not only built to last, but which have been produced as locally as possible, in an environmentally responsible way.” [[page-break]]

Mitchell & Cooper has always been based in Britain since its inception 130 years ago, and that’s not about to change.

“Abroad, labour and parts may by cheaper, but the skill associated with British manufacturing and the quality of the finished product cannot be denied, and is still a strong selling point for dealers everywhere,” said MD, Guy Cooper.

“70% of our current product portfolio is manufactured in the UK – the vast majority of which is built at our Uckfield site. Operating within our 30,000ft2 factory, our team work hard to maintain the ethos of British manufacturing at its finest.”

Classeq wants to carry on manufacturing its warewashers in this country. “The more products that are made and sold in the UK the more our economy will stabilise and continue to grow,” believes CEO, David Smithson. “So we would like to continue to keep our business roots firmly planted in British soil.”

Instanta’s sales and marketing director, Graham Crisp, sees a positive future in the UK: “The recession saw many operators spending a good deal of money on repairing existing equipment rather than purchasing a replacement. But now, with the economy beginning to grow, they are starting to buy new again – and the buying criteria have most definitely changed.”

Active Food Systems, creator of the Synergy Grill brand, takes a pragmatic view. “Nothing can be guaranteed in the development of a business; however, it is our intention and passion to remain a ‘British’ company from top to bottom.

“Being based in Britain supports our cultural standards and British manufacturing underpins our economy,” said operations manager, Morag Anderson.

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