Small-scale manufacturers in the North East have seen a significant rebound in sales revenue nationally, and are helping to lead the post-pandemic recovery, new analysis reveals.

Firms across the region generated over 64 per cent more in sales in the first three quarters of 2021 compared to last year – despite lockdown restrictions, supply chain disruption, lower business confidence and fears about tax hikes.

It followed behind the UK’s top-performing region, Yorkshire and the Humber, where sales revenue jumped by 71 per cent and was well ahead of the North West which saw a 50 per cent uplift.

It was also well above the national average of 24 per cent, according to a new report.

In contrast, manufacturers in Scotland reported a 24 per cent drop in sales revenue, while the South East saw a relatively low 15 per cent increase.

Unleashed Software, whose supply chain management platform supports more than 4,000 businesses globally, compiled the figures from a sample of 385 UK manufacturers.

Analysts at the tech company, which is now part of The Access Group, collected 79,000 data points generated from firms’ day-to-day operations, including sales orders, EU exports and e-commerce activity.

Stephen Jones, regional manager at Unleashed Software, said: “SMEs are the backbone of both the manufacturing industry and UK economy, and businesses in the North East are making a significant contribution to the post-Covid recovery.

“Together with their counterparts in Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North West, they’ve reaffirmed the potential of the Northern Powerhouse and demonstrated that the region is very much open for business.

“The firms we work with are committed to innovation and judging by their performance, have managed to successfully navigate many of the challenges of the past year.

“Now the test is whether they can finish Q4 on an equally strong footing despite the ongoing uncertainty nationally.”