Manufacturing group launches Covid-19 recovery plan

Man Group logoThe Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN) has launched a ten-point plan to help the sector recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

MAN is made up of ten companies and employs more than 2,000 people across nine sub-contract manufacturers and a specialist engineering design agency. It was established to share technical excellence in mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering processes.

The group provides complete engineering and manufacturing solutions to customers through the collaboration of knowledge, expertise and technology. It also provides an environment for member companies to share best practice and create a stronger, combined force when tendering for contracts.

The ten-point plan was signed by managing directors from all ten companies in the network and details the support the manufacturing sector needs to emerge from the current pandemic crisis.

The plan focuses on the development of a coherent cross-party industrial strategy, continued investment in innovation and a commitment to ensure the majority of government infrastructure spend is ring-fenced for the UK.

It also calls for additional funding tailored specifically to manufacturing to support business growth and systems upgrades to meet global standards, and sustainable investment to help with the transition to the ‘green economy’ and the transport revolution (automated, connected, electrified and shared mobility).

Another aim is to protect and strengthen the domestic supply chain to produce vital, life-saving equipment during times of national crisis.

The companies involved are Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, C-MAC SMT, Grove Design, James Lister & Sons, KimberMills International, Muller Holdings, PP Control & Automation and Ricor, with Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) providing academic expertise, knowledge transfer and access to state-of-the-art technology.

The ten points of the plan are:

  • The development of a coherent cross-party industrial strategy policy that separates job creation from productivity
  • A commitment to support reshoring by subsidising overseas investment/ trade and ensuring the majority of government infrastructure spend is ring-fenced for the UK
  • Continued investment in innovation and academic/industrial collaborations, with the Catapult Centres benefitting from a stronger manufacturing steer
  • Additional funding towards tailored manufacturing support programmes, which help businesses grow sales and upgrade systems so they can meet global standards and take advantage of post-Brexit export opportunities
  • A coherent plan and investment strategy to maximise the opportunities around healthcare and the transport revolution (automated, connected, electrified and shared mobility)
  • A commitment to the transition to the ‘green economy’ and net zero emissions
  • Direct funding for technical apprenticeships and graduates, so we have young people that are industry-ready
  • Specialist assistance to accelerate the implementation of the latest automation and digitisation tools
  • Reinvent a world leading R&D initiative, which provides significant tax relief across all sectors
  • Implement economic stimulus packages to encourage consumers to spend again, including introduction of the car scrappage scheme and a cut in VAT.


COVID-19 has affected many areas of people’s lives and many business sectors. For up-to-date information on the support available visit our Coronavirus: support for Sandwell businesses page.