Vince Cable promotes UK businesses with new “Made By Britain” campaign
MP hails “quality and originality” of products manufactured in the UK
Business secretary Vince Cable has asked MPs to nominate exemplary products from domestic manufacturers for a “Made By Britain” campaign.
The campaign, modelled on Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition of 1851, will showcase examples of British manufacturing excellence via an interactive online map – and may be followed by a major exhibition to coincide with next year’s Olympics and Diamond Jubilee.
All 650 MPs have been asked to spend the summer recess hunting “tales of manufacturing ingenuity and innovation” within their constituency – and many have already submitted their regional design icons.
Among those already nominated are household names such as Land Rover and Aga Rangemaster, as well as ‘national treasures’, including Young’s fish fingers and McVities custard creams.
More radical submissions include a shocking pink ‘Wedgwoodn’t Tureen’, made of high quality nylon fibre rather than china, which was put forward by Tim Farron, MP for Westmoreland and Londsdale.
The ornament’s Cumbrian maker, Michael Eden, told Growing Business: “I think it was a very bold choice. It represents his [Farron’s] interest in this new industrial revolution, which will change the way things are made.”
Whilst hailing the campaign, Eden was keen to stress that it must engage school children, and encourage them to learn craft skills. “If Britain is to restore its reputation as a creative innovator, it’s got to join up to education,” he said.
In launching the “Made By Britain” initiative, Cable also condemned the 1,400 job losses at British firm Bombardier, and urged the government to do more to keep manufacturing orders within the country.
The minister said: “It is a great shame that so many people have such an old-fashioned view of what we do in this country. Some are saying: ‘We don’t manufacture anymore.’ It is time to knock this myth on the head.”
“The idea (behind “Made By Britain”) is to build a more positive picture, of Britain being very inventive. With the Olympics bringing so much attention to Britain, this is a fantastic opportunity to show the rest of the world that we make world-beating products.”