MANUFACTURERS are urging the Government to speed up its plans for industry, otherwise firms’ growth plans could “fall by the wayside”.

The EEF said swift implementation of an industrial strategy was vital as companies cope with Brexit uncertainty.

Research by EEF and Natwest bank among business leaders showed that three out of four are actively planning to grow and almost as many are focused on driving up productivity.

The EEF said policies must help deliver a more skilled workforce, improved infrastructure and a lower cost of doing business.

It said almost two thirds of firms were focused on driving up productivity, innovation and new business models were at the forefront of industry and 90 per cent of people polled say the UK needs a comprehensive, long-term industrial strategy and 86 per cent want the Government to promote a stronger manufacturing base in Britain

Andy Tuscher, EEF Yorkshire regional director, said: “We need to get this right and we need to get this in place now so that manufacturers’ growth ambitions are supported across the pre- and post-Brexit divide.

“It is not enough to talk about an industrial strategy – it is time for the Government to draw a line under the stop-go efforts of the past and to demonstrate its commitment to industry by putting some much-needed flesh on the bones.

“Manufacturers are not just talking about future growth – they have firm plans in place to make it happen.Their ambition and drive will help get the sector and our economy on the road to stronger, better-balanced growth, but this must be matched by Government. If we are to stay the distance and realise the full benefits for the UK then complacency is not an option.

“A consistent long-term industrial strategy can help us make more of what we have and develop the growth drivers of the future. We must strive for better productivity, increased trade and more ambitious investment in new technologies. Government can underpin this by supporting higher skills, investing in infrastructure, lowering the cost of doing business and providing support for growing businesses.”