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6 Top UK manufacturing companies of 2021

Manufacturing in the UK is rapidly changing and evolving. By 2050, the industry will look very different from today, and it’ll be virtually unrecognisable from that of 30 years ago. Top manufacturing companies across the globe are adopting new technologies, changing their infrastructures and future-proofing their businesses for longevity.

Manufacturing companies are becoming more responsive to changing global markets and closer to customers. A business-as-usual approach will not deliver success for companies in the industry. Manufacturers need to be polar focused on innovation, have their fingers on the pulse and need to be prepared for the next big thing. 

Some companies are already doing this and they’re harnessing the ability to think beyond the norm and prepare everyone for tomorrow’s problems. They’ve adopted innovation, creativity and quick thinking. In this post, we’re going to give you an insight into the TOP manufacturing companies we admire. We’ll feature what they do and why we admire their work.

We’ll cover:

6 top UK manufacturing companies of 2021

We’ve selected these top manufacturing companies in the UK as they all demonstrate innovation in their unique way. Whether that’s thought-led content marketing or purposeful web design - they’ve ticked the boxes for manufacturing industry success. 

Manufacturing is entering a new adaptive phase. As a new consuming class emerges in developing nations, consistent demand sparks innovation and global manufacturers are posed with new opportunities. There’s never been a better time to explore the top manufacturing companies.

One key component to highlight here is that no two manufacturing companies are the same. To succeed in this industry, you’ve got to be different. Manufacturers are always striving to be more innovative, whether it’s by developing new products or improving their processes.

If you’re succeeding, you’ll be advancing your technological capabilities and you’ll be achieving solutions for each consumer problem that arises. In simple terms, if you’re helping your consumer and you’re one step ahead before their issues arise - you’re succeeding! 


BAE Systems

Their Mission. Our Promise.

top manufacturing companies uk

The name BAE Systems was first introduced in 1999 through the use of the historic acronym for British Aerospace (BA) combined with ‘Systems’ to represent the partner company Marconi Electronic Systems. 

BAE is a British multinational arms, security and aerospace company located with operations worldwide. They’re innovators, they produce breakthrough work and they’re incredibly admired in the manufacturing industry - we couldn’t miss them off this list.

BAE Systems keep critical information and infrastructure secure using their advanced defence technology. They’re always providing their customers with a competitive edge to ensure their audience in the air, maritime, land and cyber domains are fully equipped with the correct capabilities and protection. BAE goes above and beyond normal expectations and they’re driven by the success and safety of their customers.

We admire their approach to User-Centered Design (USD) and how they place users at the heart of their applications, products and services. They build products that their users need. They minimise their biases and put user research and evidence at the forefront of their visions. They focus on the needs, not the ideals. 

We also love their podcast, Future Horizons: The Tempest. Tempest is focused on delivering a capable, flexible and affordable combat air system by the mid-2030s. Their six-part podcast series introduces and explores Tempest - bringing together the next generation of engineering talent. 



We Make It Fly

airbus top manufacturing companies uk

Combine international pioneers and the aerospace industry and you get Airbus. A European multinational aerospace corporation. They design, manufacture and deliver industry-leading commercial aircraft, helicopters, military transports, satellites and launch vehicles. 

They have a cutting-edge approach to tech and their aim is to ensure that they produce digital and scientific excellence. Their main vision is to ensure the world is better-connected, safer and more prosperous for all.

Not only that, but Airbus also provides data services, navigation, secure communications, urban mobility and other solutions for customers on A GLOBAL scale. They have the highest standards of compliance and transparency with their business practices across the globe. They’re always working to improve their company’s growth and technological developments by ensuring they align with the needs and expectations of society. 

We admire their approach to disruptive design and how they want to push aircraft design to the limit. They have a focus on delivering real environmental performance benefits to improve the passenger experience. Their current projects are Maveric, Racer and Future Combat Air System.

Airbus has also established zero-emission development centres (ZEDC) in Germany and France. Their forward-thinking goal is to achieve cost-competitive cryogenic tank manufacturing to support the successful future market launch of ZEROe. Their approach to technology and development inspires us to keep being disruptive with our digital transformations.



Inventing Tomorrow’s Sky

safran top manufacturing companies uk

Safran is an international high-tech company group and are TIER-1 suppliers for systems and equipment in the Aerospace and Defense markets. Safran believes that innovation is in their company DNA and it’s their driving force for creating solutions - we agree! Innovation should always be in your company DNA if you’re wanting to succeed in this ever-changing industry.

Safran develops innovative solutions to anticipate their customers evolving requirements. Again, they’re another thought-leader who is always challenging their customers' requirements and going above and beyond. Their core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Their roadmap for the future includes their employees, their customers and environmental priorities. 

They’re world-leading manufacturers of helicopter turbine engines, evacuation slides and aircraft wiring systems.Safran’s work is breathtaking and incredibly aspirational. 

We admire their approach to visualising new systems and aircrafts that challenge existing norms and designs. They’re aware that the future of air crafts is diversifying and they’re one step ahead. Their approach to design and innovation is phenomenal. Especially their AirTaxi concept that focuses on multi-rotor vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) machines - that could get you to the office in LESS THAN 15 mins, imagine!


James Hall & Co Ltd

james hall and co top manufacturing companies uk

An award-winning Lancashire family based company located in Bowland View, Preston. They’re not far from us here in Burnley and they’re local innovators too. They’re a distribution service in the North of England and they take pride in operating as a primary wholesaler for SPAR (serving just under 600 SPAR stores). Not only that, but they also operate several other manufacturing non-food businesses too. 

They’re one of the largest manufacturing employers in Lancashire; their people and family values are vital to their success as a manufacturer. We love their approach to bringing true manufacturing success to the North of England! 

As well as helping SPAR and providing innovative services, they also own many manufacturing businesses such as Clayton Park Bakery, The Great Northern Sandwich Company and Fazilas Ethnic Convenience Foods. By manufacturing their own products, they can supply their own stores with their high-quality products that their customers LOVE. 

Clayton Park Bakery, one of James Hall & Co’s companies, has invested in low carbon vehicles to help drive their services forward with a positive environmental impact. We love their approach to the future and how they want to reduce their carbon footprint and serve their customers for years to come. Their creative social media content and presence is impressive too, they utilise different engagement strategies and have a very fast customer response rate. Great work!


Arco Limited

Experts in Safety

arco top manufacturing companies uk

Arco has a mission to keep everyone safe at work. They're a fourth-generation family-owned business and have been putting their customers first for over 125 years and that’s why they’re safety experts. They help companies keep their workplaces safe and most importantly compliant by supplying safety clothing and equipment. 

Their National Distribution Center holds an impressive 22,000 products (that's 50 percent more safety choices than any of their competitors). They have a network of over 40 branches in the UK and Ireland. Ensuring wherever you are - you can get hold of what you need when you need it. 

Over the years, they’ve invested heavily in product innovation, their supply chain, the branch network, communities they operate in and most importantly, their people behind Arco. Again, another manufacturer who puts their people first - both employees and customers. 

They believe it’s important to offer their customers the widest range of products at competitive prices. But they won’t do this if they have to sacrifice the expense of others' well-being.

We love Arco’s approach to transparency. Throughout their streamlined website, they provide consistent help, guidance and support for browsers. Their video demo section demonstrates how to use the Arco website effectively for a positive user experience. A great concept and a perfect example of how to use videos for increased user engagement.


Allied Glass

Trusted By The World’s Finest Brands

allied glass top manufacturing companies uk

For over 150 years, the Allied company has one clear vision and that’s to bring the world’s finest brands to life. Inspired by their customers, they create innovative distinctive glass packaging, with each new design ‘stretching the bounds of possibilities’. Their company has grown from their Yorkshire factories to helping customers’ brands across the globe.

Everyone at Allied always rises to a new challenge. Whether that includes new technology, environmental demands, or the expectations of their customers. They provide dedication and exclusive touches at every stage of their business - from initial design to manufacturing and customer service. Continually driven by the idea of exceeding expectations.

Since 2015, they’ve had some notable milestones and they have a history of advancing environmentally sustainable solutions. They have a sustainability framework that they take pride in following. We admire their approach to communicating their sustainability and how they position their customers, their people and their communities at the front of everything that they do. They’re transparent and they’re committed to operating responsibly and sustainably.

We love their approach to inspiration - they gain it from all areas. They believe that each of their products needs to be a fusion between performance and design originality for it to be successful. They have everyone from each team involved in their development process and they offer a holistic design and manufacturing service.


Our approach to successful digital partnerships

Just like the top UK manufacturing companies in the UK, we’re also focused on innovation. We’re focused on helping manufacturers thrive in their industry and we’re passionate about helping others succeed beyond their own expectations.

With over 30 years worth of experience developing and implementing digital transformation and growth strategies for manufacturing companies - we’ve naturally become experts in this field. 


In this stage we do an in-depth discovery process. We get to know your business, the stakeholders and the goals you’re looking to achieve. We discover the best questions to ask, we identify any challenges and we ultimately lie the foundations for a successful digital partnership.


After our discovery sessions, we get to work. We create the vision, the deliverables and the direction going forward. Before any partnerships are agreed - this process has to be confirmed first.


Our 20 in-house specialists work on the transformation strategy. We put the vision to work and we keep everything completely transparent. This is where the magic happens!


Every manufacturing company we work with - become lifetime partners. No matter the size of your business or your direction going forward, we can help. We can bring clarity, focus and direction as well as unrivalled innovation.


Speak to a digital transformation expert TODAY!

If you’re keen to skyrocket your digital processes or you’re ready to embark on a new journey to success - you’ve landed in the right place! Here at Red-Fern we can help you innovate, create and deliver digital success across all platforms. No matter the size of your business, we’re here to help.

Get in touch with one of digital transformation experts TODAY and be one step closer to receiving the success you deserve. We can’t wait to hear from you! Maybe you’ll feature on this list next year.

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