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Changing the public image of British manufacturing

An exhibition celebrating British manufacturing has opened at London’s Science Museum.

Small businesses in the manufacturing industry should be buoyed by the news that a new exhibition celebrating British manufacturing has opened at London's Science Museum. The Make it in Great Britain exhibition attempts to change the perception that the nation does not excel in the manufacturing industry - and raise awareness of the £130billion annual contribution it makes to the British economy, as well as the 2.5million jobs it provides .

The exhibition - an initiative by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) - showcases both the rich history and promising future of manufacturing in our country. It features products, designs and future ideas from some of the UK's leading manufacturers, as well as some of the smaller, more innovative companies that are the lifeblood of our nation. McLaren, Microsoft and Bentley make up the high-value end, classic products such as the world famous Mars Bar sit alongside future designs for foldable pushchairs and hop-on golf trolleys, while startups such as Stoke-on-Trent's Emma Bridgewater Limited and ECO Plastics are well represented.

The exhibition emphatically achieves its aim to celebrate the intrinsic value that manufacturing has to our society and economy, highlighting the unparalleled (outside of the USA) size of our aerospace, chemical, pharmaceutical and scientific manufacturing industries.

However, when opening the exhibition Business Secretary Vince Cable underlined the need for Britain's banks to step up and increase lending to small and medium-sized manufacturing companies. He had a point - new figures reveal that overall lending has fallen for the second quarter in a row.

Make It Cheaper has a significant role to play in the future of the manufacturing industry, because we can help small to medium-sized manufacturers find funding for growth by saving money on their overheads

The secretary used his speech to reveal a formal strategy to boost growth in the manufacturing industry, pledging to increase the amount of people with engineering skills and boost lending to the sector. Mr Cable expressed his concern that manufacturers were finding the lending process "frustrating", and he also admitted that the current debt-laden status of the UK's biggest banks made lending difficult.

The recently-announced Funding for Lending scheme may help to change the financing outlook - but at Make It Cheaper we believe we have a significant role to play in the future of the industry, because we can help small to medium-sized manufacturers find funding for growth by saving money on their overheads. By the very nature of their business, manufacturers consume a high level of energy, which means they feel the full force of being unwittingly rolled over onto higher rates when their energy contracts expire.

Make It Cheaper alerts customers when renewal windows open, searches the whole business electricity and business gas market to find the best rates available and handles the administration of the new contract. Indeed, we can help manufacturers keep their costs down in other potentially expensive areas such as business insurance and business telecoms, thereby unlocking more crucial funding that allows innovation, creativity and technical expertise to flourish.